So it’s early days on the verge garden and I’m still working on fixing up the terrible soil here. The above picture is what the verge area I’m taking on looked like in January 2018 just after I moved here, even watering this I noticed it’s water repellent and that soil you see on the path extends half way down the street having being blown away over time. One of the neighbours advised me that there had once been a tree here but it was an unfortunate victim of the development of a unit complex nearby, regardless alot of remedial work will be require before I can do a thing here. The soil as mentioned is water repellent, compacted and otherwise devoid of any organic matter. Getting an OK to proceed from the council was needed despite some of the most progressive policies on this front in Australia due to that chicane, in short, I need to keep anything from the line of the sign furthest from the road forward to it below a certain height to retain road visibility.
After doing some things including layering down some cow manure, clay and some wetting agent along came the mulch. This was a huge load as pictured and was a freebie from a local tree pruning company via Mulchnet , while using eucalyptus mulch wasn’t a first preference it’s certainly more sustainable, it’ll just require more work.
After spending a good afternoon raking it out and watering it in, it’s been mostly a case of keeping it moist to try to pull off some kind of hot(ish) composting with the large amount of leaf matter amongst the wood chips. This has involved watering and forking it about once a week to start with to keep air moving to the lower layers.
Finally that gets me to where we are now, about three weeks post mulch going down. It’s holding a nice temperature inside and you can see alot of the leaf matter is breaking down quite quickly (those dark brown and black patches) and is slowly reducing in size. I may need to take some off before planting as there’s still alot of bulk there but I’m satisfied so far with progress.
Aside from one or two fruit loops nearby who have grumbled most of the reception has been fairly positive so far to what I’m up to here. As for the what I’m up to part, I’m planning to implement a full herb garden, full of hardy varieties people can still use to cook with around here. As is visible from my photos there are alot of unit blocks near by to me and a large number of those are in lower socio-economic groups, basically people without the means to either grow these or buy them without hurting the limited funds available. I’m avoiding vegetables as there are many problems that I can forsee (pests especially) here and as I am renting this house, I may not be here in a few years to keep this going which would likely be needed for a vegetable garden. Herbs at least will still be useful and make a good use of this space.