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Tag Archives: Eco-friendly
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.
Leonotus, also known as wild dagga, a reference to the mild psychoactive properties of the plant. This popular garden shrub is widepread in South Africa and in addition to it’s many medicinal properties attracts sunbirds to it’s bright orange inflorescences.
The carrier handle on this wine box makes a good plant tag !
1) Take a half drum and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
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!
I made this wall garden for a client as a feature to distract from an imposing wall. I recycled some left over and damaged guttering (the square type).
How to construct the wall garden:
I cut the guttering into equal lengths and fitted each length with end pieces so each length becomes a container
Be sure to drill drainage holes before affixing them to the wall
The gutters are the spaced equally on the wall, marked off and attached by their own brackets.
The wall was north facing in a hot climate, so I built a screen to shade the wall garden in summer but allow the winter sun to reach the plants. To do this I positioned the gutters vertically but this is not necessary. They could also be arranged in a stepped pattern, for instance.
I then cut chicken wire to fit the bottom of each gutter over the drainage holes to hold the soil and prevent the drainage holes from becoming blocked.
I then filled the gutters with first gravel, then finer river sand, then composted ground to assure good drainage.
Water the soil in well and begin planting.
I recommended smaller hardier plants at the top and plants with more foliage at the bottom to avoid a top-heavy look
Echevaria (Desert Rose)
Epiphytes (Air plants)