Monday, November 19, 2012

New rain shelter for succulents

Last November I blogged about building a rain shelter for the potted succulents next to our front porch. Unfortunately, the 4-mil plastic sheeting I use proved to be too fragile. By the time I took it down, some of the grommets had been torn out and the sheeting was tattered in places because of the wind tugging on it. Clearly a more sturdy material was needed.

Our plan of attack for 2012 is centered on a 14-mil clear polyethylene tarp reinforced with fibers for extra strength. I ended up buying the tarp from an eBay store called Tarps To Go because all the other sources I looked at were significantly more expensive. I paid $26.49 for a 10x12 ft. tarp, with free shipping.

121117_tarp_02

121117_tarp_06

121117_tarp_04

The second element we upgraded this year are the bungee cords. These ball bungees are much stronger than the flimsy ones we had last year.

121117_tarp_05

The last piece of the puzzle are releasable zip ties to attach the bungees to the eye hooks in the ceiling of the front porch. Of course you could use single-use zip ties, too, but I prefer being able to reuse them.

121117_tarp_08

Here’s the installed tarp.

121117_tarp_14

121117_tarp_10

The ball bungees allow the tarp to move with the wind to relieve pressure on the grommets.

121117_tarp_11

121117_tarp_12

This is what the tarp looks like from the street.

121117_tarp_15

The tarp is attached to the fence on either side. However, there was a great deal of flapping in the middle so I secured the tarp to the tree using two ball bungees and a zip tie.

121117_tarp_16

Viewed from the front of the house, the tarp isn’t even that noticeable.

121117_tarp_19

To make room for the tarp, I had to move the plants off the top shelf of the display rack next to the fence and off the top of the fence itself. Some plants will spend the winter on the floor of front porch…

121117_plants_on_porch1

…others ended up on chairs…

121117_plants_on_porch3

…to avoid breaking the plants hanging off the sides of the pot.

121117_plants_on_porch2

The Amazon.com box under the chair is a shelter for the stray cat that likes to hang out on the front porch. My wife thought he’d be cozier in there on cold nights.

4 comments:

  1. Hooray. Your rain shelter looks good and sturdy. It's very sweet that you've made a shelter for Kitty too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks good! I need to make a rain shelter for Aloe thraskii and you've given me some ideas--thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like a good solution! I'm thinking of doing something similar (but on a smaller scale) for my small potted Agaves this winter.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That looks much better and sturdier than the one you had before. It's the same material used on temporary greenhouses sold here and they do last for quite a few years.

    ReplyDelete