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Friday, June 16, 2017

Plums Blown Off? Veggies Windtorn?

Has fruit been blown off your plum or pluot tree? Just too much wind for a vegetable garden? Put up a windbreak.
Large-scale windbreaks affect the wind on the Windward side from 5 to 8 times its height

Wind damage to purple leaf Plum
This is a fact sheet on windbreaks I did years ago when I worked for the University.It was aimed more at those living on larger properties and had water to spare.

Download my fact sheet on windbreaks for large areas in the desert

Windbreaks do not need to be big or even use much, if any, water. All it has to do is slow down the wind to make it manageable for plants. Once this is done, you will see plums and pluots staying on
the trees and not blown off. Water use will go down because there is less wind. Vegetables will be more succulent with less tearing of the leaves and they will be more soft and succulent..

Why put up a windbreak in your backyard?

  • Fruit stay on your plum or citrus
  • Vegetables more delectable and eye appealing
  • Use less water
  • More pleasurable to work in the garden or backyard
A series of windbreaks can be used close to the growing area
Some "do not do" facts about windbreaks in the desert
  • Do not make them solid
  • Do not put them on the edge of your property
  • Do not make them out of plants
  • Do not make them out of wood
  • Do not put water near them
  • Do not use plants if you need a 12 month windbreak
Image result for chain link pvc slats windbreak
Chain-link fence with PVC slats gives almost the perfect 80:20 spacing for slowing wind
Some "do" facts about windbreaks in the desert
  • Windbreaks should be 80% solid with 20% open space
  • Put them close to where they are needed
  • Use steel or cement whenever possible
  • Construct windbreak height in a 1:5 ratio with the protected area
  • Consider using several smaller windbreaks instead of one big windbreak

Try using chain-link fence combined with PVC slats within a couple feet of the area that needs protection. The steel is very durable in the desert provided it stays dry. Diverting the wind with a solid wall causes wind turbulence in other areas. Having open spaces between solid spaces slows the wind rather than only diverting it.

Reed fencing also works well for slowing the wind but needs replacement every other year.

Windscreens will also work as long as they allow some wind through it to slow it down.