September 27, 2010 at 10:21 pm #477965
Thanks Feywind. I thought your dome looked a bit smaller.It must be easy to move “in ten minutes” a la Woodrow . Have you done Guild Planting as in Linda’s book? If so, how did it go? How long have you been using this system?
It probably takes a bit longer than 10 minutes – I made it high enough that I find it difficult to lift it high enough to clear obstacles – getting it on and off the mandala is harder, there are/were dwarf trees in the way.
I’ve done tried to do a reduced guild planting system, modifying it to reduce the number of plants etc. In practice I’ve found that I can’t get the second plantings in – the first don’t mature fast enough, and I also don’t get enough success with seedlings that I can have all of the right plants.
At the moment, I’m making it up as I go along, experimenting with different plants together with what I have managed to get to advanced seedling stage. I also have put in drip irrigation which I hope will help.
I started a thread to document the beginning of my garden here:April 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm #477966
I doubt that anyone has been waiting with baited breath for the next installment, but I’ve finally taken pictures of the Chicken Wicken in action. What happened was that my Linda Woodrow style mandala was too close to a mature tree that was stealing water, so I put in a wicking bed – dug into the dirt 15-20cm, put down foam matting to stop piercing the liner, put down a pond liner. I then made an edge of roof tiles held together with cargo straps. Recycled rubble went over an ag pipe and then came layers of manure, dirt and what organic matter I could find. On the first cycle of my chook dome I missed the wicking bed because it was newly made, so finally I’ve made it so that the chicken dome is on top of the wicking bed.
Pros- less incursion of grass from outside
Cons – harder to step into chicken dome to get eggs and distribute grass etc.
The placement of the ag pipe – I later removed the internal packing and took the risk that the pond liner would be pierced
Dirt startedApril 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm #477967April 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm #477968
So a little blurb on how it is performing.
The bed was great to plant seeds in – nice friable soil. The first lot of pak choi and radishes were great. As it matured I found that the middle was unreachable and the lucern that I planted there were competing with weeds, not too much of a problem until weeds spread their seeds to the rest of the bed.
The bed definitely needed mulch – without mulch the bed had wilting plants and constantly needed filling up, with mulch the plants thrived and the bed rarely needed filling up.
I put the drainage too low – I put it below the top of the gravel and realised my mistake after. The bed must fill to the top of the gravel, then drain. Solution: tilt up pipe with rocks until it is above gravel.
Remember to keep planting, or weeds out compete!!!
Snails live in-between the tiles, but they were a problem before, at least I can find them now.
Snails live down the filling pipe – must remember to put on the lid.
Shade is still a problem in summer.
Don’t plant zucchini too close to the edge near the path – it will overhang and make my life difficult – I have a squeeze between the wicking bed and the soon-to-be aquaponics system.
Anyway, on the whole it has been successful. And worth doing…. wondering about two more of the beds that need work. Eventually I will switch them over….. someday.
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