Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Progress update: Work on the Barnes home

I'd published earlier the draft for the Barnes home in Toronto. Looking again at where I'd started:

Here is what has been happening. First, seed trays were prepared:

To prepare the ground, all pulled weeds, tree prunings and even some light waste lumber was placed on the ground, which was then treated with kelp meal as a soil amendment.

Next, the ground was watered and covered with cardboard sheets as a weed deterrent. The Portugese on the cardboard says "one tonne of paper equals 17 to 20 adult trees, 10,000 litres of water and 25% to 60% of energy."

On top of this was placed about 20 cm of hay mulch.

On top of this was placed about 3 cm of compost, except over the paths.

Finally, a 5 cm layer of woodchips was placed over everything and this was sowed with nitrogen-fixing clower as a groundcover.


Jez said...

and then, no watering needed-ever? i have covered my tubs with wood chips which greatly reduces watering and apparently is good for the introduction of micro-organisms. have also treated tomatos and other plants with nettle something and Bordeaux mix...

Unknown said...

You might need to water depending on the amount of rain you get. This large amount of mulch can strip nitrogen from the soil, so you need to add manure or compost. Doing so will also kick off a healthy soil biota. I prefer compost or composted manure as manure can come from animals that have been treated with deworming solutions. This will kill worms in your garden.

Also white clover as a ground cover helps supress weeds and fix nitrogen. From what I've heard (Masanobu Fukuoka), white clover is the most benefitial nitrogen-fixing ground cover - at least in a temperate setting.

Also, the addition of heavy mulch can lead to a slug boom. There are iron phosphate slug baits which seem to be safe to use as well as nematodes you can add to the soil - the product's name is Nemaslug.

I have given my tomatoes and cucurbits Bordeaux mix. They should be ok from here.