The tractor has been through to rip the ground, before the borders go up. The site is on a reasonably level area, slightly north facing, ideal for sunshine.
Look at that beautiful soil! Its medium heavy clay, a good A horizon of 15-20cm, which is pretty good for Australian clay soils. Has pH 6-6.5, the deeper C horizon is prone so salinity, sodicity and aluminium and magnesium toxicity. However this garden is being built up off the ground. This was also decided due to tyhe heavy summer rains in the area that have in the past washed the top soil away, any organic garden nightmare. The soil is gold, you don’t want to lose it.
The log borders are in. No tree was killed for the making of this garden. They were removed when the power lines went in a year ago. R.I.P trees. They are hard wood Eucalypts, so won’t break down in a hurry.
The bark has been removed to prevent White Ants (termites) from consuming the wood.
Picked up a trailer load of manure (cow and chook) that a friend mixed with lucerne hay two months ago, so it was nicely composted, and even had worms all through it – bonus! A good source of ready to go nitrogen.
The new soil going in. Mix of soil, sand, manure, and blood and bone. Took approximately 3 cubic m to fill the garden.
This is a friend of mine learning to drive a tractor for the first time. She did really well, lippy on and all!
Glad we didn’t have to move all that soil by hand! Not very organic or permaculture minded I know.
It’s looking like a real garden now.
The manure mix was placed on top of the soil, the worms will move it down the profile. It is also a good water holding layer/mulch as we don’t have much winter rain here. Winter oat seeds were sown and lightly raked in and watered, as a green manure crop, to increase the organic matter in the soil, and will be cut and turned in at the beginning of spring.
Any worm would be happy to live here! Looks as good as my Grandad used to make.
The compost bin layered with straw, manure mix, weeds, vege garden waste, food scraps, watered and will hopefully be ready in time for the spring vegetable plantings. The compost was activated with a bucket full of compost from another active bin to introduce the right flora.
Some herbs and flowers were transplanted from an old garden to introduce pollenating insects, and just because I wanted it to look like a garden.
The middle of the garden has been planted with a ‘Good Bug Mix’ of flowers and herbs to attract the right insects.
Next the opposite garden bed will be built and a shade house built over the top. Then the chook shed/chook grazing garden etc.