Busy times…

It’s been a busy week here. I’ve added a second tap in the front yard and divided the drip irrigation into three, smaller, sectors each with its own tap. This should make water use a lot more efficient next Summer as we can easily isolate parts of the garden now in case the weather gets worse next year. New edging along the garden paths means that visitors won’t be tripping on the recycled pavers that I had set, on edge, around the paths. It’s a bit taller too, so we can keep the mulch in place better and keep the paths looking better. Pretty soon we’ll be mulching again for the year. I was waiting until rain had given the garden a good soak before adding more mulch and compost to it but I guess that isn’t going to happen for a while. The soil is positively hydrophobic, water runs off quickly and even down to 45 cm, it is

read more Busy times…

Click! and we’re done.

  With one final ‘Click!’ the irrigation system for the front garden is complete! We have a drip irrigation system in place that runs primarily from the two rainwater tanks in the front garden. That gives us 1750 litres to play with. They are connected to the tanks at the back of the house too so that, if the front tanks runs dry, we can pump water to them. There is a secondary connection to the mains water for really dry times but hopefully we don’t need to use it too often. Because we’re in the Edible Gardens programme and recording our water use, they have supplied 4 flow meters. Two are flashy and electronic and the others are converted mains water meters. They’re connected to the tanks because, apparently, they’re better with low flow rates.     The drip system has been in for over a year, but was never maximised. We had random dirppers everywhere, mostly of the

read more Click! and we’re done.

Summer Goals 2017

  Summer is nearly upon us so it’s time to work out some goals for the upcoming season. As you can see from the photo, we had some pretty big sunflowers last year, so it goes without saying that we want even bigger ones this year. The seeds from the largest of the last crop are being planted this week. The new irrigation system ensures that they’ll have more water and the recently improved mulch and compost layer will give then a super boost. Talking of irrigation, I’m currently cleaning out and improving the drip irrigation system that runs throughout the garden. I’m replacing many of the drippers with new 2 litre/hour drippers that are designed to run under a range of pressures. This is ideal for our rainwater tank-fed system.     I’m also in the process of putting in 30cm lengths of 50mm PVC pipe into the ground at key areas and near trees. These will be fed

read more Summer Goals 2017

Joys of wicking

So….Jelina wanted a raised bed for kitchen veggies, and Marlon agreed to cook with more, so it seemed a great time to make a really big wicking bed. I had enough roofing steel to make the sides of a 1.8m x 900 x 900 bed, had some 50 x 50mm square fence post cut to size for the uprights and bought enough plastic to double layer a total of 400um thickness. The reasons I made it all so high were twofold. First, I made it tall enough so Jelina need to bend and second, I wanted to build it to hold about 300 litres of water to act as a backup water store for the garden. Neither of these proved practical. The assembly of the steel was straightforward. Putting in the plastic lining had me swearing, cursing and throwing shovels about. Marlon and a neighbour both helped too. Eventually, it went in, a bit roughly positioned, but smooth and even

read more Joys of wicking

New water

Over the last couple of days Lon and I have moved one of the 1000 litre tanks and redone the downpipes that come off the rear roof and the carport. The car port used to run to a 300 litre tank that is now in the front garden, so the capture of rain water will be far more efficient. I recently ran 20 mm PVC pipe from the other 1000 litre tank to the newly positioned 300 litre one in the front. This way we can pump from the bigger tank to the smaller.  The smaller tank is linked directly to the front dripper system and positioned at a good height. Now we can spread 300 litres around most of the front at the turn of a tap. It doesn’t have enough pressure to run the sprinklers, but that’s why I’ve fitted them all with taps, so I can turn them off when using tank water and just use the

read more New water