The Ground Work
Jonni is a methodical
creature and works in an orderly fashion,
unlike the scattergun work system of his dearly beloved wife!
So it's been an agonising wait for the birth of the vegie garden.
First he had to
complete all the urgent jobs on the house
and single handedly build the multilevel retaining wall
around the sides and rear of the garage (purely with shovel and crowbar)
which would provide the initial access to the first vegetable beds.
While working on the retaining walls, he was also swotting up on
the best way to go about establishing no dig beds.
books on the subject led to great heartache, especially when it came to the
planning what to plant where - and when and how to rotate the beds.
The designated area for vegie growing is quite large and has been used to date as the place to burn
anything that is too big to go through the mulcher (over 65mm) and is not wanted for compost
(stuff like copious quantities of ivy which grows up poplar trees next door and
germinates in little forest like masses all over the property!)
A water tank has been sitting nearby for several years now,
so part of the retaining wall became the base.
Rolling it to this point was quite easy, but I wasn't looking forward
to the bit where it had to be dropped down to the lower level of the prepared base.
Somehow the two of us managed this without losing it. and Jonni was
quick to attach the pipe from the garage roof to gather some precious rainwater.
The retaining wall was over a metre high so it had to be built in two levels.
The first level became a pathway and one wall of the first of the beds
which would be planted before construction of the others.
Layers of lucerne, compost, and pulverised cow manure were layered
in the beds, together with a bit of the clay dirt that had been dug out in the process.
The top was mulched with straw and the beds watered (from the now full water tank)
for several weeks to allow them to settle.