The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Design for vegetable garden.

The area set aside for veggies is shaded by a few huge gum trees, which is not a bad thing in this case, because they are not very dense trees giving just enough filtered shade. We have all raised beds built out of sleepers. Some narrow and long, some 3x3 mtre boxes and some triangle boxes, really just what fits into the space. Some more suitable for single plants such as tomatoes or rosemary bushes. Other for sweetpotatoes, corn or pumpkins ........

One of the first crop I planted was potatoes, with great succees. Broadbeans was another, mulched down in the bed after harvesting the beans. Sowed some green manure and worked that in as well.The Onion bed got some added garden lime to sweeten the soil, but dew to a lack of water the onions never got any bigger than pickled onions, still used them only needed more at a time. But the best crop so far is definately the sweet potatoes.

At the moment we are having so much rain that now it's a worry if it's not to much again. 254 mls just for the month of June, where our average rainfall is 600 - 1000 a year. Wish I could send some of this lovely rain south to Victoria and South Australia.

Not being on the property, leaves the garden very much to natures mercy, with a few wild bunnies and wallabies helping themselves, more bunnyproof fencing I know. We have some post and rail fencing atm around pumpkin patch veggie garden. Down the one side we have planted a few fruit trees, mostly stone fruit, peach, plum, quince and apricot. There are 4 brown fig trees grouped in a corner to make covering them up with bird nettings easier.

(across) I planted a passionfruit vine next to the fence and boy has it taken over. Need to figure out what I am going to do with all the passion fruit. And in front of the vine I planted some banana trees, not sure what variety they are ....... you can never have enough bananas in our house. Recently I purchaced a few dwaft varieties, cavandish and drakka, that I plan to plant as soon as it warms up a bit.

Coming up the other side a leveled area for where the chook house is going one day. It has been leveled out but 500mm high retaining walls need to be built. Atm our chookies and their lovely barn styled house is in Sydney. All that will need to happen when we move, is to unbolt a few sections, load it on a car trailer, drive +- 6 hrs and re erect it again, sounds easy ..... I am hoping. A single open compost bay made out old wingsplits and posts. The first of a few water tanks, 4500 lt tank especially for the garden is connected to a covered pergola area only 3x4 1/2 mtr big. This is where we escape to for a morning coffee and biccies, and best advantage point to survey our hard work. Next to that I planted a pineapple guava tree, and then a heap of Galangha. Galangha is a rhizone and is used in Thai cooking. Coming across again I have 2 Rosemary bushes growing.

The bone of the design is on the diagram. You might want to give it a once over, all trail and error.
The citrus orcard is on the west side of the property allowing it to get heaps of sun just about all day. More trees will need to be planted if we going to have a steading surply of fresh juice.

The soil has been improved with heaps of compost and mulched sugarcane and chook manure. The property has a gentle slope requiring every raised box to be filled up with the good stuff, a bit like terracing and steps laid. This is were the little trailer comes in handy, used to push the wheelbarrow but no more.

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