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Inch By Inch, Row By Row

Yesterday I filled a couple of pages in my notebook with topics I wanted to post about. Most of them relate to matters pretty firmly within geek territory, so I thought I'd start with the one situated on the other side of the border, the Mexican topic, if you will.

Vickie and I have had the plan for a while - okay, let's be honest, Vickie's had the plan for a while, I've mainly agreed with it (mainly 'cos it's a good plan, but partly because complaining about the amount of physical labour expected of me will lose me the respect of both sides of my family). The plan is to put a vegetable bed in our garden and grow all our own vegetables. We're already doing pretty good in terms of fruit, with our orange, mandarin, pawpaw and grapefruit trees; we've also got a lychee tree, but with its age and recent history of pruning it's be a miracle to find any lychees on it.

The plan's undergone some modification across its lifespan. We were originally just going to try and resurrect the original vege bed, bordered with wooden sleepers; dig the old dilapidated soil out, put black "viscreen" plastic in, fill the beds with topsoil and start sowing. After we starred getting concrete sleepers and large plant pots from Karl the plan was modified; we planned to remove the wood sleepers, flatten the soil and then set the grey flagstones we inherited from Deena out over viscreen sheeting as a kind of patio, bordered by a single row of concrete sleepers. The vegetables, which are currently in the plant pots, would remain in them, set on the patio.

We were partway there; we cleared the wood sleepers and a friend with a backhoe spread the infertile soil out in a flat pan across the back corner of our yard. Recently, though, with the promise of additional concrete sleepers, we revised the plan again, deciding to return to the idea of full beds rather than plants in pots; viscreen base, held down by a three-deep layer of sleepers, with weed mat inside the bed covering both the bottom and up the sides, then filled with topsoil. We have half the requirements, being sleepers and a big roll of viscreen; Bunnings was all out of weed mat on Sunday and the soil will need a separate order from a local merchant.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we’ve also used the additional sleepers to border our garden beds; I finished the long side bed on the north side of our yard and surrounded the central bed. Both areas are looking quite a bit better now. Remaining to be done are the beds in the south-side dog run and at the front of the house, which will involve more sleeper-schlepping. Fuckers are heavy, I can tell you; I was halfway buggered after shifting six a distance of maybe ten metres, and the dog run will require at least fifteen shifted at least twenty-five metres each. Still, as long as I’m careful and don’t go at it like the proverbial bull I’ll be a fitter man by the end of it.

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Sweetie, you forgot to tell them that we've not had to buy lettuce or tomatoes for some time now...or that the radishes, rocket, mizzuna,endive are ready to pick. It won't be long before the capsicum and cucumbers are in the salad bowl too. All that from a few pots of dirt...imagine what I can do with a proper vege bed!


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