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Battling the wind in coastal Oregon.

Battling the wind in coastal Oregon

Sandy soil and salty wind reduce many coastal gardens to beach grass and shore pines. Jerry and Bob Copley, who live in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, solved both soil and wind problems with devices that should work anywhere.

They amended the soil with water-holding organic matter, bringing in yards of composted manure and bark. Periodically, they add more cow and chicken manure to maintain fertility.

To counteract the heat-stealing, plantstunting wind that blows in off the Pacific, they use a variety of barriers. Along the downhill side of the property, a 4-foot wooden fence (pictured above) is a first line of defense for south winds blowing upslope. In its lee, the Copleys are able to grow trellised peas, beans, cole crops, and flowers.

A 7- by 13-foot glass deflector (pictured at top right) shields the vegetable garden from north winds. Wind hits the deflector and sails over the garden, while vegetables below grow in bright light and fairly still, warm air. The garden is about 13 by 40 feet and produces bumper harvests of tomatoes, root crops, and salad vegetables.

Another good spot for tomatoes is a 6-foot room that runs along the south end of an 18-foot greenhouse. Sides and top of the room are glass; a door and 18-inch-wide end vent are left open for cooling during warm weather.

For fuchsias and tuberous begonias, the Copleys have one garden room and one greenhouse; both are protected from wind on all sides. Plants hang from ceiling joists that support the roofing, which is fiberglass on the greenhouse and part fiberglass, part 50-percent shadecloth (which breaks the force of rain and hail as well) on the garden room.

Foundations for all structures are 4 by 4's set in concrete. Glass sections are mostly inexpensive sliding-door replacement pieces, seconds, or recycled materials.

Photo: In the Iee of 4-foot wood fence, there's enough protection to grow cool-season vegetables and flowers without wind damage

Photo: Wind shield (top) made of sliding glass door panels protects raised bed garden behind. Rear view shows overhead joists that could support shadecloth or fiberglass

Photo: Glass-walled garden room is for wind protection only. Roof is partly open to prevent heat buildup
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Date:Mar 1, 1984
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