Posts tagged Karen Contreras
"N" is for Necessary Netting

DSC_0431 It is the special time of year in our Syrah vineyard when the grapes begin to show their color and start their verasion process. Grapes turn from green and hard to the touch, to their first blush of color and softer to the touch. Verasion in our vineyard tells us we are about 8 weeks away from our harvest, give or take the ensuing weather leading up to the harvest.

With grape clusters turning color, it is necessary to net every grapevine row to protect our harvest crop from attentive wildlife and even our free-range chickens. See my previous post on this for more information, Vineyard Ready for Netting.

For our backyard vineyard, netting takes about an hour and a half, with enthusiastic friends who lend a helping hand.


Nets have been carefully rolled up and stored since last year's harvest. Nets will stay in good shape, and can be used year after year for the vineyard. The netting is rolled out, and taking the leading net edge hoisted over the top of each row so the netting covers equally both sides of the grapevines, and essentially the entire vineyard row. Next we take simple wooden clip clothes pins and clip together the netting. The entire vineyard row with netting is clipped underneath the vines and around the end posts.

Many thanks to our friends who helped this weekend! This year our friend, Karen Contreras, owner of Urban Plantations, joined us for the netting process. Urban Plantations specializes in the design and maintenance of edible landscaping around San Diego County.

Please share if you have problems with wildlife eating your ripening fruit or grapevines? Simple netting is a simple way to protect your harvest.

Organize Your Garden Shed

Now is a great time to get organized in the New Year.  Besides the usual closets, pantry, and garage, don't forget about organizing your garden sheds , too. A neat and organized garden shed will help ensure you have a healthy, productive, and thriving garden.

Take a look at this garden shed, from a client of Karen Contreras of Urban Plantations. Urban Plantations is a design and maintenance of edible landscape for an urban environment in the Greater San Diego area.

Check List for Your Garden Shed: 1) A garden shed should be clean, and well lit. The door opening is big enough to move bulky tools and bags around easily. 2) Keep a huge calendar to jot down, when seeds and seedlings were planted, harvest dates, and important days to remember. 3) A huge white board, keeps your "To Do" list visible and on track. 4) A cork board keeps important charts and papers in place, and easily accessible. 5) A place to hang a garden hat and coat is a must.

6) Garden tools are clean, organized, and hung up on a wall. 7) Sturdy shelving provides space and organization for garden products.

Take a cue from this garden shed, and start your gardening year on the right "hoe." Please share if you have a garden shed for your tools, equipment, and products. Please comment how you organize your garden shed.