Farming for Dummies
- Commenced: 01/06/2012
- Submitted: 15/06/2012
- Last updated: 01/08/2012
- Location: Parkes, NSW, Australia
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Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.
My first foray into raised beds. I'm not sure what to expect but I'll be sure to learn something one way or another...
I’ve never actually made or used any kind of raised bed
before, but I thought I’d give it a shot because I need to stop my soil from
eroding and build up a nice fertile bed for some veggies!
First came the dog pen. My dogs need somewhere to stay when I go away over night or at various other times when they cannot be with me. Unfortunately our funds were somewhat limited when we built it and even though it works just fine, is spacious and has an old aviary as a large, dry shelter for the dogs, it doesn’t look particularly charming.
I figured some plantings around it would spruce it up a bit and eventually, hopefully, hide most of it from view. Unfortunately the ground slopes almost everywhere on this place, so the soil is eroding away from the plants I have planted so far. I’d also like some more fertile ground to grow some veggies in.
So, it didn’t take me long to find some logs, which have apparently been sitting around for a while, to use for the bed.
The dog pen is fairly long, around twelve meters or so, so it will take me a while to install a raised bed along the whole length by myself but I at least made a start today.
I put up a scrap piece of roofing iron to stop the dogs from being able to reach the plants in the bed, as this is the north and thus, the sunny side of the pen and I plan on growing some veggies in it come spring.
Those three Hot Lips were already there (I planted them a few weeks ago) and I had built the soil up a little around them using old manure and weeds. I had mulched them with some wood chip on top.
After I put my logs in place (which required quite a bit of manoeuvring, and the help of my trusty Ford Ranger “Grant” (I named him that because he is grand… And I love him dearly)) I went and collected several wheelbarrow loads of manure from my two lovely hay burners and filled up the space inside the logs, until it was fairly even with the soil around the Hot Lips.
(The little face belongs to my pound puppy Leela... turns out she is actually kind of a camera hog...)
Unfortunately by this time it started to get dark and I still had to feed everyone so I finished up for the day.
(Can you spot the puppy again? Haha)
I plan on covering the manure with some
old hay or chicken coop litter and then cardboard on top of that, to stop any
weeds from growing while the manure decomposes a little. Hopefully, by the
beginning of spring I will be able to grow something or other in the bed, I
might even sow some legumes as green manure before actually planting some
veggies in it.
Well, this is my first go so I don’t really know what to expect once I sow or plant some stuff in this bed but I’ll be sure to let you know!