Learn How to X-Factor Garden Space

7 03 2020

Updated: 7 March 2020, Marc Woodard

Although many people begin planting gardens as early as March in the great North West, it is not too late to begin within the month of May. It is well known gardening activity is good for wellbeing, increased fitness levels and overall health, not to mention the nutritional value of consuming farmed fresh foods. There is also an X-factor created when gardening space wraps around outdoor patios and decks.

As one of many Tigard residents who grew up planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables on large acreage home farms, it’s fascinating to see how today’s generation makes use of small space to produce high-yields of farmed fresh foods.

There’s no need to go full plow and bulk seed bananas if looking to grow an affordable and manageable garden on a deck or patio; and like the ideal of embellishing it with a multi-dimensional vine catching structure that engulfs an outdoor social gathering and dining space.

You can easily build a garden trellis structure made out of rope wire anchored to walls or poles that continue overhead within a 6’x4′ (24sf) to 8’x5′ (40 sqft) space, or larger. And able to handle the weight of favorite veggies and fruit hanging from the vine. Similar to the bean tunnel made out of old pipe parts as seen in the picture below. Inexpensive no-frills PVC pipe can also be easily attached in garden beds that look like a Quonset hut. However the wire rope trellis system has become a hipster gardening favorite. It looks great and can be installed affordably in a small space by anyone.

Vegetable and fruits above and at ground level.
Bean Tunnel made out of repurposed pipe.

To Build a simple and affordable wire rope lattice-trellis Structure – All you need are 2-3 long eye, or line-hooks, etc., to secure ½” to ¾” into walls or pole [siding]; wire rope, turnbuckle [used to apply tension to rope], S-hooks, and wire rope clamp-eyelet hardware. Installation: Measure the distance of desired siding and overhead rope runs to determine line length for project. Purchase enough line-hooks to install at 24 inch intervals up vertical siding. Add 6 inches extra rope length for each line set to install rope clamp-eyelet for connecting turn buckle and S-hook hardware at wall base hooks. Connect one turn buckle between S-hook [S-Hook is connected to wall base eyelet hook] and other end of turn buckle attaches to the clamped wire rope eyelet. Then on the other end install the rope wire anchor hardware without a turn buckle. Horizontal ski line anchors may or may not be needed depending on produce weight. If you choose not to run open sky overhead lines you likely don’t need a turn buckle.

As vines grow from soil – direct and lean them against both ends of lattice lines. Once vines are long enough, they’ll wrap themselves up the rope and continue overhead. Horizontal and vertical runs of snap peas, squash, beans, eggplant, zucchini, melons and grapes etc., can easily be grown and attached at any section of the structure from potted wall troughs, beds and shelved pots. [Local Home and Garden specialist, or Internet instruction can help with hardware installation and lattice-trellis wire rope design and hardware options]. Tools needed: drill, tape measure, wire cutter, crescent wrench, or socket set and screwdriver.

Green tomatoes hanging by the vine

To make full use of a garden trellis floor or ground space below: place staggered shelves, pots and trough beds at the parameter. If there is wall space available that sees sun – secure shelving at various heights. Or consider staggered ground shelving unit(s) that can be built at little cost using re-purposed planks, book shelves, etc., elevated on cinder blocks. Or create a stair like structure to reap the benefits of additional growing space that sees plenty of sunshine. Place lower profile garden produce like cherry tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and Kale at ground or mid-shelve level. Top shelves can be used for herbs like Basel, rosemary, parsley, oregano, cilantro, etc. And/or use top shelves to set and direct potted plant vines to make further use of mid garden overhead trellis space.

Garden path to patio area.

Lastly, to create a stupendous X-Factor garden… If you have large enough space to integrate patio furniture and barbecue you can create a very unique social-dining experience.

Farmed fresh to table…

Where farmed fresh foods can be harvested, prepared and cooked in front of guests while sharing green thumb stories over a favorite glass of wine.

If a deck, porch, patio or ample ground space is not an option but you’d like to grow a garden within a small plot, many cities like the one I live in offer 4′ x 8′ community garden boxes to plant seasonally at an affordable price. To learn more about community gardens in the city of Tigard, OR… use link: http://www.tigard-or.gov/communitygardens or call 503-718-2591.

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2018-20 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete Fit Healthy Lifestyle, City Recreation and free monthly newsletter, visit: http://www.mirrorathlete.com.





Tigard Heritage Plaza-Trail System Update

14 12 2019

Update: 12/14/2019 Marc Woodard

On November 19, 2017, I wrote the following article: Transforming Tigard Heritage Trail. I’ve added current pictures 2 years later. As you can see there’s been great improvement on the heritage trail system. Upon the projects completion I’ll add updated images to make the before and after comparisons.

Avid walkers, joggers and bikers are likely familiar with a crescent shaped porous asphalt pathway running parallel with Tigard Street and intersecting at Tiedeman Avenue and Main Street in down town Tigard.  In 2013 city leaders wasted no time to secure the ¾ mile abandoned rail right-of-way with ODOT (Oregon Depart of Trans) through a 99 year intergovernmental lease agreement. Shortly thereafter the city began trail design concepts and receiving feedback through multiple public outreach efforts.

“An open house was held in September 2014 to present the initial trail design plan. Over 100 people participated on-line or in-person. The plan was generally well received.

Looking South Towards Main Street. Events and entertainment staging area, Veterans wall and flag, Clock tower, children’s splash pad have all been topics of discussion. Photo by MirrorAthlete,19 November 2017

The concept then grew legs into four main sub-areas: 1) A community plaza [now Rotary Plaza, Council Resolution 17-14] where the South trail intersects Main Street next to the commerce building; 2) a Commons area that include concepts for a dog park and/or BMX-bike-pump track [mid-heritage trail segment]; 3) a Stage Area for performance space; and 4) a second trail gateway entrance with plaza space at the north end of the trail intersecting Tiedeman Avenue.

Looking South Towards Main Street. Events and entertainment staging area, Veterans wall and flag, Clock tower, children’s splash pad have all been topics of discussion. Photo by MirrorAthlete, 14 December 2019

Three popular trail themes have been reviewed for possible development after three public walk and talk sessions held during the Summer of 2017.  The trail themes were, Trail as Outdoor Museum; Trail as Riverine History; and Trail as Timeless Railway. After public input – the two most popular themes appear to be timeless railway and outdoor museum.

Looking South on Heritage Trail Heading Towards Main Street. Grant Street is to the right. Photo by MirrorAthlete,19 November 2017
Looking South off of Tiedeman railroad track [North End]. Second trail gateway entrance with plaza space venue. Photo by MirrorAthlete,19 November 2017
Looking South on Heritage Trail Towards Chamber Building and Main Street. Photo by MirrorAthlete,19 November 2017
Looking South on Heritage Trail Towards Chamber Building and Main Street. Construction under way. Photo by MirrorAthlete, 14 December 2019
Looking North on Heritage Trail under HWY 99 Overpass. Photo by MirrorAthlete, 14 December 2019
Looking North on Heritage Trail Grant Street Ahead to the Left. Photo by MirrorAthlete,19 November 2017
Lean How to Live the Lifestyle You Need, Want and Deserve Now! Lean more about the Author Marc Woodard and Ageless MirrorAthlete
Looking North on Heritage Trail parallel with Tigard Street – Coming up to Grant Street on the Left. Photo by MirrorAthlete, 14 December 2019

Some of the most popular trail and plaza amenities ideals include: Rotary Plaza clock tower and peace pole, Veterans wall and flag, farmer’s market and event space in flexible plaza staging area with overpass LED accent lighting; parking under Highway overpass, and along Tigard Street abutted to heritage trail system up to Grant Street.

Also an adult outdoor fitness center with wheelchair access is possible along Tigard Street “green space” parking, Just West of HWY 99 overpass.  Also competing for this space children’s splash pad zone.

Cultural and historical interactive art stations are planned along the trail way and may include time capsules… And the BMX-bike-pump track concept continues to be very popular with biking enthusiasts and community at large.

Looking North on Main Street. Heritage Trail Gateway into Plaza Area Photo by MirrorAthlete,19 November 2017
Looking North on Main Street. Heritage Trail Gateway into Plaza Area Photo by MirrorAthlete, 14 December 2019

How is the City paying for the the Heritage Street Trail Project?

Lion Share Funded by 700k Connect Oregon VI Grant

“On Aug. 18, 2016, the Oregon Transportation Commission announced a $700,000 award to the city of Tigard through a Connect Oregon VI grant.” Other funding sources and donations include: Washington County MSTIP grant; City of Tigard and Down Town Urban Renewal funds and Rotary Club donations, etc. Construction began in 2018.

Team designers are always looking for further input in creating trail elements that compliment Tigard’s Outdoor Museum. 

To provide input/ or learn more about the project: http://www.tigard-or.gov/business/tigard_street_trail.php

Good Health to You and Your Family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2017-19 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com