..... my not so exciting ventures into gardening, self sufficiency, getting solar electricity & hot water & pretty much life in general in a small country town .....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Progress at last...

Finally can report progress with the big vegie patch!

On Saturday 8 of the railway sleepers were cut in half by Jon to form the ends & I used full length ones for the sides.

Quite a lot of effort to put them into place as each full one weighs between 60 & 70kg so I doubt that they will move around much.
Thank goodness for my father in law, Les - he may have turned 70 this year but is very fit & strong.

So I now have 4 8x4 foot beds that are 2 sleepers high (25cm).
The beds have been lined with the cardboard boxes that the solar panels came in last month.
Next job on the list is to lay slotted ag pipe down the middle of each bed to form a semi "wicked" effect. Other irrigation pipes will be run & Jon is going to plan how to connect them to the rainwater tank & the bore - not that he knows this yet!
Now to fill the beds I'm going to make them "No Dig" or what some people call Lasagna gardening.
Basically I will just fill them with layers of shredded newspaper, stable manure, very old lucerne hay, shredded autumn leaves (2 wool bales full), grass clippings & well rotted sheep manure. Very lucky that all but the hay was free or bartered for.
I already have a cubic metre of topsoil/garden blend but will probably need another 1 1/2 cubic metres to add to the above mix.
Then the planting can begin!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Greenhouse

I purchased the greenhouse from http://www.oldfields.com.au/treco/gh_hobby.htm in January 2008 & didn't get it set up until October 2008 due to extra hours @ work.
It has heaps of headroom being 1.96m high(especially if you are short like me) 2.59m long & 1.97m wide.

Jon bought me the outside sink & a few months ago we had power connected to it to run the pump for the homemade hydroponic unit shown below.

Not much success with this over the Summer as it was just way too hot in there, even with all the vents & louvres open. I didn't get around to putting up the metallic shade netting that goes over the entire structure but it will be a must come Summer.

A few weeks ago, Jon put 5 yabbies in the water storage/recirculation box thus venturing into aquaponics on a very small scale. The yabbies will eat the algae growth & their waste products will help provide the nutrients for the plants above.

The website below is fantastic, a wealth of information & easy to follow if anyone is curious to find out more about aquaponics


I have definitely put this idea into the basket of dreams & who knows, I might actually make it a reality.

Just have to convince the rest of the family.....