Hugelkultur – A backyard suburban rotting log, garden bed.

One man and a chainsaw can mulch anything.
I highly recommend you utilise the assistance of friends in this project as lifting logs is a killer on the body. Even worse when you’re on a 30°-40° slope.

The premise is you bury logs under soil and plant on top of them. Initially it’s not so great as the bacteria breaking down the logs steal nitrogen from the plants nearby. This effect however is reversed with interest afterwards. You can plant in the dirt covering the logs and they will flourish from the decomposition happening below the surface.

I had two massive trees that were felled in my back yard and I wasn’t keen on lugging them uphill to the street to load them on a truck to take them to the dump. A friend sent me a link to hugelkultur sites and I immersed myself for several days in this whole new world.

 

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Blue Mountain Gutter Mesh Install

So after years of ignoring the buildup of leaves in my gutters I decided to do something about them. I figured I’d been wasting too much rainwater and planned on diverting it to the garden and to the rainwater tank I bought off a friend. Getting someone to do it would have been ludicrously costly as no professional would get onto my roof as it’s a 45º pitch. Then there would be the issue of how to set up scaffolding on such a steep slope.

It took me most of a day to clear the decade of built up composting material that had created it’s own ecosystem in the gutters. I hate heights and given the not so less than ideal ladder setups I was forced to configure the whole clean-out was essentially a sphincter clenching, lamaze breathing process of me holding on for dear life and teasing out the old growth forests that had taken over.

 

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Possum-Proof Raised Pallet Garden Bed With Easy Access

I was pretty stoked to see some of the vegetable seeds I had planted come up. They were struggling a bit being winter and me not giving them as much water as they’d probably like. I’d also neglected to do any weeding and so the infestation of Wandering jew  had crept into my designated garden bed area as well as the usual scattering of cobblers pegs, the bane of socks and pants everywhere.  I had just restarted using my Bokashi bin and there was a heap of juice ready to be used so I diluted it and watered the few vegetables that were poking their heads up.


When I went to check the plants four days later, quite a few had grown three time their size! Bokashi magic! A few days later, almost all off them had pretty much been decimated by possums. Not happy.  The idea behind the netting below is that possums don’t like unstable surfaces and so won’t climb the netting. I had used tent pegs to keep it to the ground but I’m guessing they were probably jumping into the patch from nearby trees or getting under.

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