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This project is from the Summer of 2010 and is now archived. Visit the IMA Island page for the next related project.

garden trouble

I hate it when my nervousness is reinforced by unfortunate events.  I was nervous about leaving the gardens out there unattended but i thought i was just being an overprotective parent.  The first night they were out there was a storm which highlighted some flaws in my design.  The fact that the bins are hanging suspended from straps which are not rigid gives them a swing effect.  The slightest rock of the gardens shifts the bins, everything over corrects and they just build momentum.  it didn’t take long for the bins to reach a tipping point.  I tied the garden close to the dock to try to eliminate the problem.  But it didn’t work.  I came back the next day to a horrific sight.  One garden contraption holds 3 bins; the contraption was on it’s side and 2 of the 3  bins were gone.  When i got out there i saw that one of the cradle straps had broken letting the two bins it was supporting fall to the bottom of the lake.  R.I.P. melons and sunflowers.

After a short period of cursing and morning i replaced the whole unit with a new one, slightly less weight and i tied some extra straps to bins so that if the cradle straps broke at least i could salvage the bins.  Everything good?

No, I come back the next day to see that the barrels are taking on water.  The bungs are not air tight and over the course of a day water is slowly leaking in.  The whole contraption is half submerged and the bins are hanging on for dear life.  To fix this problem I’m removing all the bungs and spreading waterproof caulk on the threads before screwing them back in.  Also i’m being more careful about arranging the two bungs so that they are parallel with the surface of the water.  Before some of the barrels had one submerged and one above water which really helped them suck in water.  Also, to correct the rocking i’m putting thin steel wire as braces connecting the handles on the bin to the frame.  Not only are the wires rigid enough to limit the swing they will act as an emergency catch if another strap breaks.  So, now we get to see what other problem arise.  I think we are good for a while.

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