In the race to get the lounge room floor done other things have fallen by the wayside. The little rammed earth wall has been waiting to be back-filled for a while now, so it was high time to get onto it.
We had a bunch of broken-up concrete lying around, mostly from digging up the trampoline base while constructing the orchard. That went in. Also a bunch of little rocks that aren’t any good for wall building. Then a pile of dirt.
Finally it was off to the hardware to get some gravel.
We have little spaces on either side, which are waiting for us to extend things later, so we made them into little garden beds for the time being.
The dead wattle in the bottom garden was starting to get a lean on it – in the wrong direction. A couple of branches fell off it, too. Rather than wait until it is too dangerous to climb, we thought we’d best have it taken down.
While we had the tree loppers here, it made sense to get the one in the front yard taken down, too, as we want to put a wall right next to it and don’t want to destroy it with big bits of wood falling on it.
There’s this old dead stick of a tree that hides down amongst the pittosporum at the bottom of the garden. It’s too rotten to safely climb to take down, and we were waiting for it to fall on the fence.
The other day there was a thump which turned out to be the top half of this tree hitting the ground. Missed the fence by about a metre.
The bit that was left was short enough to take down without it being in danger of hitting anything. So after a spot of chainsawing, down she went.
We have so much firewood already, we’ll just leave it there for the time being.
I’ve never been able to get a compost pile to heat up. When it gets hot and nice and damp inside, it breaks down really fast. With the new mulcher, though, vegetation is shredded with diabolical efficiency. We put a pile of it into a ring of wire and, after 4 days, it’s already reduced by about a third. Success! We are the new kings of compost.
It’s that time of year again, when the weather is dry and the wood for the coming winter can be split and stacked.
We had some bits come from one friend’s place, and some bits from the broken tree at the school, then another friend mentioned a bunch of blackwood she wanted out of her yard. That meant a huge pile waiting to be split. So it’s been quite a few hours at the chopping block, and not much else could be achieved around the house, but we’ve got a really good store set aside for this winter.
The onion weed is out in force again, so it’s once again time for some eradication. All of our previous efforts have been well worth it, though, with this year’s weeding only taking a couple of hours to complete. There’s sure to be a few plants still lurking around the joint, but each year it gets easier and easier!
We got some wood from a friend’s place when one of her trees fell down. It’ll contribute to next year’s pile for the fire, but we might as well go ahead and split it now. It’s got super-straight grain and splits like a dream, whatever it is. A nice change from having the splitter bounce off the top of the stringybark we’re currently using.
R’s sand pit never gets played in, so it gets filled with weeds and nobody cares about it much. Or is it that it’s filled with weeds so he doesn’t play in it? Lets give him the benefit of the doubt and tidy it up.
And an ad for free pallets popped up on Gumtree, so we went and fetched a bunch and began the process of dismantling them.
There are conflicting opinions about how long you need to leave your weeds in the weed tea bucket/barrel before they’re good and decomposed. We ended up leaving this lot in for 6 weeks. The wandering periwinkle was really quite persistent; I suspect it’s a water plant and is not terribly concerned about being underwater. Nevertheless, darkness and water and patience did the job.
Much tidying up was done over the last weeks. We had a great pile of wood and kindling on the paving near the chickens, waiting to be chopped up and put under cover after drying out over summer. Since February and March are the times when sticks and leaves rain from the sky, there was plenty of them to pick up and relocate somewhere where they’ll be useful. A few extra plants were put up by the cherry tree, to finish that bit of the garden off (3 blueberries and some salvias), many weeds pulled out to refill the weed tea barrel, and the grass mowed. Dirt, rocks and mulch were moved into the chicken run to provide some flat places between the door and the feeder. That 2m of mud is unbelievably slippery after a spot of rain. The chicken waterer was cleaned and an attempt made to “fix” it by taking out the clear section (which got algae in it after a while). The fix leaked, though, and time ran out to get it working again. The chicken run and coop were cleaned out and the fences around the two citrus in the chicken run removed, to be replaced with one half of a tyre around the base of each. They’re big enough now that the chickens can’t peck them to death. Add single parenting and working full time to that and I’m ready for a holiday!