Hugelkuture using Eucalypt

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Adrian1976, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Maybe the termites cycling is ending up under the trees if your grass is staying green, deep roots, climate controlled, organic matter to spare.

    Do you know if the posts were painted with a bitumen-based mix? Most old school farmers would poison the timber inserted into the ground. Even my father did it, all those posts are still standing.
     
  2. Changellain

    Changellain Junior Member

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    The peppercorn trees drop lots of berries and leaves.. I assumed it was that which made the ground nicer under there. Agreed that there is a climate controlled element to that, being they do produce some nice shade!

    I'll have to check out the posts next time I'm there. Is a bitumen mix a bad idea? I don't know about poison, other than I had the soil tested before we purchased the place for heavy metals and OP's PCB's and OC's. As far as I could tell from the reports, they came back good. I don't know if any poisons would reveal themselves in any of those tests though! It's been quite some time since anyone lived there for more than a weekend stint. I know the previous owner had someone come out and spray for termites last year. Not ideal in my world, but not much I can do about it now. Turns out the same guy that did the pest inspection before we bought the property, also did the spraying for the previous owner. He couldn't find any active termites at the time, just the damage to the window. He also sprayed the perppercorn trees somehow?! I hate to imagine. Of course, he recommended we keep spraying under the house. Yuck.
     
  3. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Poison is a roundabout term. Something non-natural may be better. Whether or not it's bad, ideally you wouldn't use it in utopia, would you?

    How is this for an anecdotal story: Watering my fruit trees, start to smell something bad. I'm standing next to my fence, the neighbour's all steel shed is next to where I am. A pest guy sprayed the gutters and it went all over my face. What would you be killing with a poison in a gutter? 2 spiders? This is the world we live in, and my life just got shortened.
     
  4. Changellain

    Changellain Junior Member

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    Wow, that sucks! One of the things I'm looking forward to when we move there full-time is getting away from some of the blanket spraying of herbacides that our council does front and back at our current house, and a neighbour sprays his whole yard that borders our yard. It's so flippiant!

    I was wondering about bitumen specifically.. I've been trying to research it because I was considering using it for some small holes in the roof (as a stopgap measure since we can't afford a new roof right now!) There's also a bucket of black "tar" that can be bought that you dip posts into before burying them into the ground. I wondered about that too.. I guess the best option would be just let the termites eat out the wood and replace it with wood we've grown on the property!

    Which reminds me of the neighbour talking about how we don't need to bother planting wood for burning in our stove.. since there's "so much!!!" of it around on the sides of the roads there. Afterwards I thought; "Don't worry about the future - things are just great right now!!" *sigh*
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    on tv last night ch9 the story of a brissy valley farmer dying 24 hours after he got dosed accidently with paraquat banned around most of teh world banned in china only this year and our farmers are using it to kill weeds before they grow our food.

    makes glypho look like cordial hey, but even our own aussie grown produce we have no idea what they do, not safe to eat, and they beat their chests because teh mouldy green people have won in locking up places from fishing instead of exploring no trawl fishing for local use only on exporting which diminishing our food chain (which is unaffordable for the poorer people now anyway.

    lets somehow get back to farmers living in our communities supplying staples with no spray applications and only in season.

    sad about the farmer and his family, but the onus fell on him maybe not to use the stuff, and the sciences that promoted its usage.

    len
     
  6. Fernglade Farm

    Fernglade Farm New Member

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    Hey!

    I had a post and videon up on the PRI site about hugelkultur and eucalyptus:

    https://permaculturenews.org/2012/08/22/adventures-in-hugelkultur-in-australia/

    Termites are about the place here too and they are part of the decomposition process. Ants hate humus though which is why you find them in the local eucalypt forests where all of the nutrients are above the ground. If you want to eliminate termites from your area, simply increase the amount of soil humus in your garden and they'll head to other places. As a precaution though, it would be advisable to have a stone barrier around your house just in case and do checks every six months or so. The local bull ants here can bite (at least the soldier varieties) which sprays and injects formic acid over your skin causing a nasty sore so I've been looking into them for a while now! Hope you enjoy the video and the blackberries and raspberries are doing quite well despite the dry conditions. Chris
     
  7. Nickolas

    Nickolas Junior Member

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    I know your area well, i used to live in Holbrook. thinking about Holbrook reminded me of the weeping willows on the 10 mile creek that runs through the town, is weeping willow ok for Hugelkuture?
     
  8. Lesley W

    Lesley W Junior Member

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    Rather than starting a new thread I have an additional one to add to this topic.

    The area I will be working in is notorious for termites. A large euc recently that fell on my empty block and will be chopped up 1/2 for firewood for the neighbours and, most likely, the other half will make a hugelkultur bed for me.

    The information I read about termites and eucalypts is conflicting. It ranges from 'they love it' to "termites that fed on a steady diet of either eucalyptus, hardwood or pine bark mulch suffered significantly lower survivorship than did termites fed the standard laboratory control diet of white birch".

    If you were in a termite prone area would it affect whether you used a raised or buried hugulkultur approach? It is a neglected bush-type block with unimproved soil (pH4.5, lack of top soil with clay base).

    All thoughts would be most welcome.
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Why are you concerned about termites getting into the pile? They are part of the biology that breaks wood down.
     
  10. Lesley W

    Lesley W Junior Member

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    Hiya Eco, I'm not concerned with them getting into the pile, I'm just asking whether it would affect anyone's decision to make a raised or buried bed.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    OK cool.
     
  12. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day lesley,

    we are in termite area many are, just lifted a log outside and there they were, just nature. we never consider termites when we build raised beds, our houses are termite proof apart from the furniture, need no ongoing treatments.

    got no idea what is happening to our HK under teh growing medium??

    len
     
  13. Mirrabooka

    Mirrabooka Junior Member

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    Check out the soil remediation You Tube presentation by Mark Vander Meer ( also at Permies.com) He restores forests.

    He points out that a pile of timber or 'slash' or woodchips, ie Hugelculture, will bring in the mycorrhizal fungi and the fungi will remediate that soil beneath, resolve compaction, assist water retention, while distributing the nutrients as you hope.

    Interestingly, he raises concerns about swale interruption of water movement down a hillside.

    Perhaps Hugelculture across the slope will do the same job as a Swale, but without the mechanical digging, while fungi 'dig' the subterranean Swale beneath the Hugelculture? ....Biological solutions....?? I am trying it on slope far too steep to risk a Swale
     

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