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.
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.
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.
Here’s the installed tarp.
The ball bungees allow the tarp to move with the wind to relieve pressure on the grommets.
This is what the tarp looks like from the street.
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.
Viewed from the front of the house, the tarp isn’t even that noticeable.
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…
…others ended up on chairs…
…to avoid breaking the plants hanging off the sides of the pot.
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.