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Windbreaks

September 12th, 2013

“Unless your garden is stocked only plants on the prairie or steppes, every garden should have hedges and windbreaks that will baffle the wind and break it up, protecting plants growing in their shelter.”

Monty Don from Gardening at Longmeadow

Windbreaks are a very important consideration in your garden. Even if you live in a typical suburban allotment you need to consider how the wind comes across your garden. Back in Ohio, my gardens were surrounded by trees, lots of very tall trees. We were very protected from the wind, too protected, for these trees limited the breeze and also provided too much shade.
Mulching the Main Garden 4
Here in Maine, we have the opposite problem in the garden. There are large trees, but most of them are too far away from the garden to provide the kind of wind break we need to protect plants, both from the winter winds to the winds of the summer.
Onion Harvest 3
My onion harvest suffered from the lack of a windbreak. I harvested the majority of my onions a month ago, but a few remained standing because they were protected by the celery. It’s amazing how much larger they are than the ones harvested a few weeks ago. If I had a proper windbreak my onion harvest would have been almost twice the size it was (Note Dexter setting by the onions for scale). Below, you can see the onions I harvested earlier on the right and the ones harvested later on the left.
Onion Harvest 1
Onion Harvest 2
I am planning on adding a hedge around this garden in the future, but next year I will have to remember to plant something tall on the side the wind generally comes from.  Perhaps a few sunflowers to feed the chickens in fall would be a great option.

Do you have a windbreak in your garden? Have you ever suffered loss from too much wind?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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