Friday, 6 April 2012

Thinking of a BIG MAN SHED!!!!

From an earlier post a friend "c" came with an excavator and among other things dug out a wider car space below the house. Now this has been awesome and is SOOOOOO COOOOL having extra car parking space. But the ultimate goal is to have a large 7m x 7m double garage.

I have had initial talks with the planners at council. Where the shed needs to go is deemed to be a low risk landslip zone, dispite "low risk" council demands a Geotechnical engineers report and signed declaration. This involves two holes drilled to a depth of 3 metres to do a soil profile. This report will also do an over all site plan for erosion and storm water management. This Report will cost $1500 plus gst!!!! I will also need to put up a retaining wall (an Engineered reataining wall). I haven't had a quote yet to draw up the plans for the retaining wall. The Slab for the shed will need to be an engineered floating slab with a possible 3m footing on the down hill side.  Electricity will be connected to shed also.

So a $6657 shed will probably end up costing $20000.

Yep thanks council no wonder so SOOOOO many people in The Shire of Yarra Ranges don't get planning approval for sheds n other works.........

Will keep you posted with progress and outcome.......


I have been an apple and stonefruit orchardist in a past life and know how to train & prune fruit trees. (my parents still have the orchard and I love going up and helping prune each year.
How ever I have never espaliered fruit trees before. A lovely friend "G" gave me a subscription to The Diggers Club with a gift voucher for one of the many short courses they conduct. After looking at what courses were on offer it was a toss up between composting, raising seedlings and how to espalier.  You Guessed it Espaliering won out.

The two Fig trees are what I'm going to Espalier.  The fact they can get very large the varieties I have planted can get 4 metres by 4 metres.  I just dont have that space in my back garden! So I put in two tall posts 2 metres either side of each Fig Tree.  I then attached Concrete reinforcing Rio mesh sheet.

Having chooks a wire tree guard is needed (mainly to stop chooks digging up mulch under each Fig tree).

The aim now is each growing season for the next 4 −5 years to train one level of scafolding branches....
I'm hoping 4-5 levels of branches which will be tied to the Trellis.

Will continue post to show various training processes as they happen.  

OK the Raspberries I planted last year were a disaster!!!!!!

The Raspberries I planted last year were a disaster. only a few survived the chooks had access to them and only one is still alive........ YIKES.......

Lookiing good. Fenced off from chooks
and mulched heavily with Lucern Hay.
About a month ago a client of mine got me to remove a large patch of Raspberries in her garden which had taken over an area of her garden.  I decided to take home the Raspberries and despite the weather forecast, HOT 33-35 for about three days.  I put the removed Raspberries into buckets of seasol to soak for a few hours, picked a spot to plant these 40-50 canes all up.  I decided to plant these all along the front of the chook pen. I dug a hole for each bare rooted Raspberry cane filled it with water planted the cane and then mulched with Lucerne hay.

And this time I have fenced them off properly so chooks don't destroy them.

I read some where 20 canes per person will allow enough for eating, with surplus for jam, cooking, freezing etc. I have 40-50 and as they runner I will divide and plant more along fence near veggie patches as well...... Our family LOVES Raspberries..................

Chook shelter needed for heat n wet weather.

So now the chooks are fenced out from near the house they can't use the area under the house to shelter from the heat and rain.

A solution was needed. Now they do have the chook house but they like being out side during the day.

I recently found a ready made roof with corrigated iron screwed to two wooden roof rafters being tossed out on hard rubbish. SO being me I grabbed it brought it home hit in four metal star pickets and screwed the roof onto these posts.

Roof screwed onto four star pickets
Once the roof was fixed to the posts I needed to fix corrigated iron onto the back and one side to protect from wind and rain and ensure chooks have good shelter.

The finsihed shelter. And they love it when its wet n hot.

Chicken proof fence needed to keep chooks out of veggie patches!!!

With grand plans of a large Kitchen Garden with numerous large garden beds I have to be able to manage when the chooks can go in and clean up!!!!  So I had to fence off the veggie patch area.
About a quarter of the back garden closest to the house is now fenced off.  I still to have access for wheel barrows, wheelie bins, my mulcher, possible diggers and other supplies with a large gate. The path up to the back garden, chooks, orchard and back shed is used all the time so an easy gate to open and close was needed. This has a small pedestrian style gate with a butterfly gate latch which is easy to  use one handed. (important when carrying chook scraps up and eggs back down)!!!!
This fence now means we can walk up to the veggie patches with out opening any gates making it much more accessible.

Large access gate on boundry fence.
So Posts and strainers were put in using hand held post rammer and post hole digger. Gates were then hung

Chooks are now kept out and I now have another project on my list. Yes numerous raised garden beds. I was thinking railway sleepers as the garden bed borders, then cypress pine sleepers, now I'm thinking Blue stone blocks.
Watch this space and see what I end up using.

Really really happy with outcome chooks still have heaps of area to free range. And now the veggie patch area is readily accessable with out having to open make shift gates down near house.

Another gate down the side of the house this isn't
used much but is handy when needed.


Kaz wants DUCKS!!!!!!

Now I love water features, the ocean, rivers, dams, lakes, WATER, it just mesmorises me. I can look at it all day a bit like fire really draws me in!!!!

SO my wife has talked about ducks for years, and I know how tasty they are!!!!!!! She cooks a mean orange marinade duck.....

BUT ducks need water to swim in, luckily it's hard rubbish time and a suitable bath was "found".

So yesterday I dug the hole and installed the bath. Ive put it in one of the chook pens, which will become a duck pen!!!!!

I have positioned the bath above the apple and pear orchard and raspberries.  This means when i clean it out the nutrient rich water will irrigate these plants sooooo the water is not wasted.

The bath in and installed.

Strawberries finally in!!!!!

I've been realy slack, busy you know what I mean. However the 24 strawberry plants I bought 7 months ago have been out on the lawn getting a water here and there and the odd snail pulled off em, and the odd strawberry eaten and enjoyed, however by and large they have been neglected and forgotten.

NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For months I've had an idea that i could use 150mm PVC storm water pipe to make my own strawberry planters which I could hang off the top rail of the fence keeoing the chooks out of the veggie patch area.
And with Kaz and Linnae away for a few days my opportunity came knocking!!!!! Woooo Hoooo me time in the garden......
End caps on and drilling holes in top of pipe to plant strawberries.

So my 6 metre length of 150mm storm water pipe was cut into three 2 metre lengths. End caps put on and then 135mm holes cut into the top of the pipe.

Drainage holes drilled in bottom of pipe.

On the left the finished planted out with strawberries
On the right ready to plant out!!!!

Small holes were then drilled in to the bottom of the pipe to allow drainage and ensure excess water can drain out of pipe.  No for the best bit of this project, planting. I bought bulk compost from my local garden supply centre. A thin layer of compost was put in bottom of pipe then strawberries were planted in each hole. Compost was then filled around each plant and watered in with seasol and power feed. (both seasol products).

Another planted was then hung on the other side of the top rail and planted out. Strawberries hang over the side out of the dirt and out of the way of slugs and snails.

The finished project!!!! With strawberries hanging out of  the dirt
& and out of the way of chooks and snails n slugs!!!

I still need to run a dripper line along the top of the pipe to make watering easy in summer and so water isn't sprayed over fruit and leaves. This will reduce fungal disease.

So happy with result. When strawberries start sending out runners I will divide these and make and plant out more planters.