For help in building your CaveGarden, visit Craigslist where builders are encouraged to post under "CaveGarden Construction" (Pictures below)
Please note that you visit websites selling means to manage vine plants that the costs are numerous times the following cave garden option. In one case a 3-foot tall metal teepee that would manage four plants sold the same as the basic cave garden which will manage twenty (20) plants. Unless one is a socialite wanting to have cocktail party conversation topics, one should seek optimal return for the least money spent, that is, garden like a baby chicken: cheap, cheap, cheap.
Construction of Caves--also see Downton Arbors
Basically, any two parallel walls six to eight feetg apart will serve to build a cave by running the vined vegetables up, across and down. In 2012, the first year that caves were tested, they were made of bamboo. If one uses bamboo, one should use bamboo at least two inches in diameter because the growing plants exert more weight with each day. Initially using, one-inch bamboo, the author found himself strapping more bamboo to reinforce sagging caves. But this is good, as indicated by pictures of hundreds of tomatos hanging from the vines going up, going across and going down.
In considering how to connect the horizontal bamboo between the vertical walls, 2" PVC T's were used atop the vertical bamboo poles. This worked pretty good. Using string and wire, the basic frame was reinforced with cross-braces vertically and horizontally. The cuke cave was disassembled in early fall while the tomato cave lasted until Hurricane Sandy blew it down.
Being committed to cave gardening, considering costs and figuring costs, the use of 4x4 treated lumber was viewed as a better bet. The following describes how to construct a cave garden with a twelve-foot wide foot print. The vertical walls will be six feet apart with plants growing on a one-foot offset both inside and out thus providing four rows for climing vine vegetables. With an eight-foot width between the inner and outer row, an extra two feet provides movement on the outside like the inner two-foot path between the two vertical walls.
Based on present knowledge, caves can be built in any compass direction since the 2012 caves were north-south (cukes) and east-west (tomatos). If you build more than one cave in parallel, you should leave twelve feet in between them with other vegetables being planted in the buffer.
Supplies and tools for a single length cave with a slanted brace.
Please note that the following can be done by one person though two or more make it easier and faster.
2012 caves: Cukes and tomatos in addition to home page introductory images.
Example of simple cave around which crops can be rotated.
Footer on brick (please note that a 6" long 1/2" hole was drilled into underside base of the 4x4 lumber so that a 15">18" rebar (3/8" in diameter) could be driven into the ground through the brick for the 4x4 to rest on and not move.
The plants would be planted on both sides of the direction parallel to the angled braces which are for vined plants with large vegetables, e.g., melons. Thus, the side nearest the viewer would become one of the two walls of the eventual cave as the plants went up over and down.
Top connections of cave garden--deck screws were used to connet. Deck screws were used for assembly with torque heads for disassembly if need be.
In 2012, bamboo was used with two short-comings. The eventual weight of many vines with vegetables was not anticipated with the bamboo sagging. The solution was either large diameter bamboo (had used 1", should use 2") or 4x4's and 2x4's.
Another problem, echoing the first, was how the tomato cave garden collapsed from the winds of Hurricane Sandy. The above is more likely to outlast a windstorm compared to the bamboo cave (below).
In the above picture, one can see tomatos still on the vine after Hurricane Sandy knocked the cave over on Saturday, October 27, 2012. The tomatos were harvested to ripen at a leisurely pace with juicy tomatos being enjoyed into the New Yeak ... over two months later. If you have ever had a steady supply of homegrown tomatos, you won't ever enjoy the newspaper-tasting tomatos from the store bred for appearance, not taste.
New Years 2013
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|>||#1 Downton Arbors||130501||Downton Arbors|
|>||#2 Cukes||130501||Cukamania Cave Garden|
|>||#3 tomatos||130501||Tomato Mania of a Cave Garden|
|>||#4 CaveGarden Homepage||130501||Cave Gardens: Lazy Man's High Yield Gardening|
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|<||#1 GardenTypes||130501||Garden Types: Caves are Best!|
|<||#2 IndexText||130507||Cave Gardens|
|<||#3 SelfGardener||130501||Self-Organizing of Gardners|
|<||#4 StudentsOrganize||130501||Students Organizing Independently Of or In Concert with School|
|<||#5 O-CityCouncilOrder||130501||City Council Order Form for Seeding Bee/Party compliments of CaveGardens.com|
|<||#6 O-CivilTrinityOrder||130501||Firehouse Seed Order Form for Seeding Bee/Party compliments of CaveGardens.com|
|<||#7 O-FirehouseOrder||130501||Firehouse Seed Order Form for Seeding Bee/Party compliments of CaveGardens.com|
|<||#8 O-NeighborOrder||130501||Neighbor Seed Order Form for Seeding Bee/Party compliments of CaveGardens.com|
|<||#9 O-PublicOrder||130501||General Seed Order Form for Seeding Bee/Party complements of CaveGardens.com|
|<||#10 O-StudentOrder||130501||Student Seed Order Form for Seeding Bee/Party compliments of CaveGardens.com|
|<||#11 CalenderTTD||130501||Calender of Action|
|<||#12 TocIndex||130407||Table of Contents|
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