Permablitz #211 – Upwey
Ros’ block is long and steep like so many at the edge of the Dandenongs. She has already worked hard to create some raised beds, paths, as well as planting a food forest, which today is filled with blossom promising good eating in a few months.
Some of the work was done at a previous blitz. Having a blitz really makes a difference – it gets you inspired and makes the remaining work a little more ‘doable’.
There were some familiar faces – Tom, on Hugelkultur bed duty as he is very experienced at these – and Natalie, one of the two designers of my own Permablitz. Two others are newcomers to Australia from Switzerland and Brazil – very different gardening experiences for them!
Today the weather co-operated and blitzers got stuck into a lot of tidying up – digging out the agapanthus, which is an environmental weed around here. Ros kept some as it is a good fire retardant and helps prevent soil erosion. If you lop the flower heads after flowering and before they set seed, they spread more slowly.
Another group dug a pit to start the hugel. By the end of the day it was filled with logs at the bottom, and smaller branches on top, and lots of mulch, weeds and soil to start the composting process. Hay was the top layer – some remarked that it looked like a haystack! Nonetheless, it will very slowly decompose into wonderful, rich soil. For now though, the warmth generated by the decomposition means that Ros can plant seedlings a little earlier than she could straight into the bare earth; nitrogen fixing plants work especially well here.
Bamboo lattices were constructed on site to be set up as props for berries and other plants needing to climb. They looked pretty easy to do and will be very effective.
Finally, the wicking bed. It always takes a while to set up but will be a great work saver and will be terrific for getting good growth quickly.
As people left, the kitchen elves had provided small snacks for the journey home. A lovely touch at the end of the day.
If you’d like to see more of the photos that were contributed by Anja, Natalie and Helen, then you can check out the full gallery here!