Dead tree removal

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.

Gone,

and gone.

Prepping for dirt sifting

We’re going to use the end of the driveway as our staging area to prep the dirt going into the rammed earth wall. It needs a bit of attention, though. We want to have the prep area right up against the wall to the right to give space to turn the cars around. So that weedy scree needs to come out and the level squared up.

There was way more dirt in there than expected, but a couple of hours with fork, shovel and wheelbarrow got it neatened up.

Then it was time to make the dirt-measuring box. We need about a cubic metre for our first little wall, so it makes sense to make a 1 cubic metre box. It will have a moveable sliding piece in it that will let us divide the internal area into half-half or one-third-two-thirds or other proportions.

We had some plywood lying around from an aborted furniture project, so we put it to use, routing channels in the right spots so that it slots together and then flat-packs away when we’re not using it.

Great! Now to start sifting.

Veggie refresh and experimental mulch

The lettuce and spinach crops that were planted in June have well and truly run their course, pretty much done before Christmas. With summer nearly over, it’s a good time to try to plant some more little darlings in wicking beds one and two.

In bed one we’ve got runner beans, snow peas, bok choy and some chard.

In bed two we’ve got lettuces, pak choy and a circle of capsicums in the middle.

This time we’re going to try shredded mountain ash bark for mulch. The new mulcher is able to slice up the bark, though it’s still pretty hard work. It comes out very fibrous and fluffy, and it looks like a good candidate for creating a moisture barrier.

Third wicking bed

We’ve been collecting pallets for wicking bed cladding for ages. It’s taken a while, because we were trying not to make special trips for pallets, just picking them up when we saw them.

Post-Christmas was a bit of a bonanza, so we got enough to do another wicking bed (there are around 70 pieces of wood in the cladding).

Tried to do the shou sugi ban for a whole four sides in one day, from having cut pieces of raw pallet wood to having cladding installed. Only got three sides done in the end, with the last one hammered together and installed the next day. Just one wicking bed to go!

This picture shows how the finish fades in six months. They will probably want regular re-oiling to stay in good condition.