Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Autumn clean-up

I often have a project kicking around my head for months (even years) and it's something you always mean to get back to - one day!

Well one day has come for this particular area of the garden. The septic unit area. It's basically a big lump of concrete which sticks out of the ground.

It's been about 2 years since we took these photos. So this is our second autumn here. When we first moved in though, it didn't take us long to start preparing the area for a garden. With log off-cuts from a felled tree, they naturally became our first choice of garden edging.

We also sectioned up a few timber sleepers for stairs. It made it so much easier to travel between the two levels.

Problem is we let it sit for approximately 2 growing seasons. All that bare soil became a weed garden which needed mowing every three months, so the septic guy could do his quarterly reports for council.

To give an indication of how an area can change within two growing seasons, I like to use before and after pictures. As you can see the stairs have filled out with grass, which requires a whipper-snipper/brushcutter to mow for access. You can imagine it's not a job we look forward to in the middle of summer.

BEFORE:

AFTER:


Big difference! I love the grass, but not when it's past your waistline. Time to finally put my project musings into action.

Last Sunday (Mother's Day) we visted our local markets to buy some tubestock seedlings. I had the best time!!! Oh the herbs I got too, so pungent. Not for this part of the garden though.

My septic tank area needed a date with my mattock first. Very carefully, I may add! It's not something you want to carelessly hit a pipe with.

Thankfully the grass wasn't very deep rooted, so I barely had to skim the surface.

The weeds served their second purpose in our backyard though, by becoming a thick garden edging. I just peeled the grass back and dumped it around the raised bed.

The weeds should compost down nicely after about twelve months. Hopefully by then we'll have come up with a more permanent idea for edging. I like this compromise for the time being.

Speaking of compost though, I raided our bins and was able to put a rim around the top to plant directly in to.

The clay is rock hard and it needed a bit of organic matter added. It should give the natives a bit of a head start, but after that, they're on their own.

I won't show you all the plants which went in yet, because they're still so small. But I did want to mention a special plant which was a cutting from a local lady I visited last year. I'm not sure what it's called, but it's a succulent type plant. Hi Mel, you know who you are. Thanks for the cuttings. These are just the small ones, I also have the larger ones planned for another part of the garden.

It was a great days work and hopefully this area will be growing plants rather than weeds in future. Can I direct your attention to the mulch you see in the picture too. Would you believe it was free?

The Toowoomba City Council (TCC) has a free mulch collection day, the first Sunday of every month. You don't have to be a rates payer to collect a free load - you only need to bring a trailer and tarps to tie it down. Collection is from the TCC rubbish tip.

They fill it up so high, you have to scrape it off the mudguards to tie the ropes down. Great value for money.

I hope to have updated photographs later next Spring, should they take off. Native plants are pretty good like that!

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