A Good use for Bad news…Today john the farmer is using newspaper to sheet mulch an area of the allotment !
Sheet mulching prevents weeds from coming up and retains the moisture in the soil.
A layer of well rotted biomass from the compost heap holds the newsprint down and prevents the paper from drying out.
I intend planting a ground cover of Sour fig (Carpobrotus) by making small holes in the newspaper and sticking the cuttings into them.
Update on the mulching and subsequent planting..
The fig tree raised bed is planted with sunflowers, gazanias and gem squash.
The trellis contains Jasmine, Aloe ciliaris and an epiphyte cactus.
Below it rambles a butternut squash.
Hugelkultur or hill culture is simply growing what you want on hills or mounds created out of rough biomass to improve the soil, increase drainage and at the same time prevent the soil from drying out.
I added a galvanized wire mesh tube or cylinder which i plan to use as a trellis for climbing plants.
The middle of the tube will filled with garden clippings, kitchen waste and leaves to create a ‘wormhole’.
The wormhole will concentrate earthworm activity from where they will spread out to the rest of the mound.
I must say this Hugelkultur method really works ! Three months later and all the veggies I put into the mound are reaady for harvest..The beans that I sowed must still climb the trellis but I am ready to replace most of the veggies with the summer seedlings.
1) Take a half drum and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
Sticks or Stones
2) Place sticks or stones in the bottom to help with drainage. (You don’t want the holes clogging up with muck.)
3) Place a layer leaves on top of the sticks.
4) Alternately layer newspaper and leaves. Remember to water thoroughly between layers. The newspaper will keep the leaves from drying out and the worms will eat the newspaper.
5) Add worms. You can dig them up in your garden especially after rain. This is where you recycle bad news into good news !
6) Add kitchen scraps. Worms will compost most scraps except for citrus peels.
7) I used this old trolley to stand the farm on, and placed a tray underneath to collect the worm tea.
8) The worm tea is an excellent compost that can be used directly in the nursery or on your veggies. Remember not to let your worm farm dry out.
Happy Worm Farming!
Hanging Hessian planter at Towerkop Nursery
This to be the first installment in a series of organic farming tips .
1) A sheet mulch of cardboard is put on the soil to preserve soil moisture and prevent weeds from coming up
2) A thick mulch of leaf litter is put on top of this>
3) Branches are placed on top of this to prevent mulch from blowing away. Also to keep the ducks from compacting the soil.
1. Grate half a bar of green soap .
Add Sodium Bicarbonate
2. Add 1 tablespoon Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking soda)
Add Jeyes fluid
3. Add 2 tablespoons Jeyes fluid.
4. Add 20l water .
5. Mix well and decant into spray bottle .
6. Spray as required . It Works !