What I've done recently.

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by S.O.P, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    How a boot should be filled...with plants:

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    Got the Inga in with the Pinto and Tithonia:

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    Trialling the water bottle method of establishment:

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    Finished the Vetiver prop bed. The branches are to protect the plants from the turkeys!:

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    Random photos:

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  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Beautiful!
     
  3. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Gotta love a boot full of plants! :) Place is looking great :y:
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Looking great! Pretty popcorn cassia....
     
  5. KiwiInOz

    KiwiInOz Junior Member

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    RE: Chookie ... (The bambusa sounds like a good one, I'm curious to see if you could somehow 'season' it to be stronger for use outside but anyhow it looks like a good one. )

    I have a Bambusa Lako, and though it is a beautiful plant, I wouldn't recommend planting it if you are wanting it for stakes and poles etc. It seems to break down extremely quickly. I don't even use the Bambusa Lako as plant stakes anymore because after only a couple of months the bottom starts to rot.

    Compared to my Oldhamii - the walls of the BL poles are much thinner, too.
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    And these are a running bamboo that has been built into a dam island. I don't know the name of it but the poles are amazing. Last a long time outside, super straight and about 70mm in diameter which is hand-sized so it's good for simple framework like tipis and what not.

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  7. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Thanks for that KiwiInOz, very helpful advice. Will keep looking out for some that last a bit longer.

    Love how its contained on the island there, looks like a good size to use. Shame its a runner, will probably take off where I plan to plant it. Oh and cheers for the heads up about the BOGI fair, picked up heaps of seeds. Green manure crops were $1.50 per packet, cheap as.
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Sweet, couldn't make it this year as I decided to plant trees instead (and a heap of Vetiver). What did you get? I don't remember seeing inoculants there so it may be wise to load up with your soil with the right bacteria when you can (which is expensive).
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    If you go back to my other post, I have 2 blacks listed. Pick the other one if black is your main goal for aesthetics. My Lako is tiny and haven't tested the poles (but based on Kiwi's recommendation).
     
  10. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    More vetiver! I had a group of 'native experts' have a look at the creek line the other day and boy did they have a hissy fit when I started talking about planting Vetiver. Apparently ANYTHING not native is a noxious 'weed' to them. Does Vetiver 'take off' around creek lines?

    Ended up getting some Japanese millet and Cowpea. Also going to experiment with some chicory puna and got some chook tucker seed mixes, which i'll try over areas already high in nitrogen from the chickens. Not sure about the inoculant at this stage but certainly considering it. Have had great success in the past without it really but the soil here may need it.
     
  11. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    In an established riparian creek, I wouldn't plant Vetiver as it needs full sun and if your creekbank was full sun all the time, you have other issues. Like third world issues.

    Vetiver is a sterile clumping grass that may get 30cm wide at the base. It doesn't go anywhere you don't want it to be. Ecologists will tell you otherwise based on zero evidence. It's called a "feelpinion".

    If you want to nail down your creek and it's semi-established, plant Lomandra hystrix absolutely everywhere. To partially quote Save Our Waterways Now, you can't plant enough L.hystrix. Seriously. You may think ha ha but every square 10cm should have a L.hystrix in it. You can tube in other natives in amongst them, plus other seeds will germinate and be held in by the grass mat in the next flood. From memory, your creek should have it in there (I've been in your creek near your amended spot), it's flowering now. Go grab a heap of seed off the females when they are ready. They germinate easily if it's a good year.
     
  12. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Hahaha yes your right SOP, its semi established with mainly Waterhousea's then lots of Campher's and Chinese Elms. Have definably seen a few Lomandra's around. We have a huge one in the flood plain that flowering now so will keep an eye out for when they are ready and give it a go.

    Plenty of other spots for the Vetiver ;)
     
  13. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    You have lots of Celtis in your spot, in some areas of riparian bank it's nothing but. Nothing a little ringbarking won't sort out.

    This may help, download the plant guide PDF.

    https://www.saveourwaterwaysnow.com.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=2240
     
  14. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    A basic IBC cut-in-half soil wicking bed system.


    This was an earlier mockup. Uniseal 25mm pressure pipe overflow, 90mm fill tube connected to agipipe via a 100mm pot.

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    Medium sand for the wick (couldn't get coarse river anywhere). Another piece of agipipe to increase void. Other 2 have weedmat rolled pieces as I had a short excess that worked well instead of throwing it out.

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    Flooding the sand to clear any voids. Attached to the overflow is my flooding piece if I ever want to flood the whole bed to the top. I'd flood them now but the tank is nearly empty so I have to wait.

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    Making the soil mix. Against every fibre of my being, I had to mix medium sand with my soil and compost. Absolutely nowhere local to me had coarse washed river and from googling, I couldn't accept 12 cubic metres at my house if I wanted it delivered.

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    A piece of woodchip humus. For nearly 3 years I've been nursing a pile of woodchip and it's now no longer reducing in size and is a rich dark colour. Last year I grew Loofah on top of the pile (a volunteer) and this year it's finally being used for its original purpose.

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    The soil mix consisted of medium sand, woodchip humus, existing soil with some parsley in it, chicken manure, cow manure, worm castings with biochar in it, Organic Xtra and one bed had some crusher dust mixed with it.

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    Finishing the last bed. One is mulched with nesting box material from chickens, the other is mulched with deep litter from the coop. So almost too much chicken manure and the beds will need to heat up and chill before planting.

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    The 90mm fill pipe has a cap, the overflows have a piece of shademesh held on with a rubber tree tie. This should prevent mozzie incursion.

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    And finished. Now we play the waiting game.

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    Things I'd do differently? Get coarse washed river sand for the soil mix.
     
  15. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    They look terrific

    Another handy addition to wicking beds is installing a air stone when they are built , a small aquarium pump increases the oxygen levels in the sump water . Also allows the option of managing soil temperatures during extremes , during really hot days run the pump at night , during the cold months run during the day through some black pipe or a solar collector to bring soil temps up .
     
  16. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Well, with the overflow low and a pump that could self-prime, I could cycle water out and back through the fill pipe quite easily. I could also slide an aerator down through the fill pipe (drill a hole in it and feed through a small hose) or squeeze it through the overflow (or use an elbow).

    I'd have to solar panel and 12v then though. But I have been thinking of making a deep cycle system for usage elsewhere and could use it here.


    Our Winter temps are reasonably high here, never frosts so I'll watch the soil temp come Winter. The aerator sounds like a good idea and I'll do some research. Cheers.
     
  17. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Here is the silt and fines from the "washed" sand. This is the leftover from sieving.

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    Here is me hand-sieving out coarse through a found water tank inlet filter.

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    And the 25mm high pressure hoops are up.

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    Put some plants in to appease the kids. Some Sweet potato slips Egyptian Spinach And Loofah seeds in the hot bed (fingers crossed - I'm hoping the warmth will germinate the Loofah and Spinach quickly). Some Common and Garlic Chives in the other.
     
  18. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Is the plastic UV stable?
     
  19. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    No. It's painted with recovered acrylic house paint. Cuts down on light transmission too.

    To get UV stable 1000L tanks for $100 would be amazing though.
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Looks great. If you wanted to pretty it up you could make a bamboo surround to cover up the tank bases. Which would also prolong the life of the plastic. Keep us updated on how they work….
     

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