08 September 2014

September 2014 (2)

The heavy duty shadecloth on the legume Ecobed in this picture, was quickly wrapped around the pest exclusion frame last night to stop the broad beans blowing over when damagingly high winds came through the suburb.  The wind was quite violent with trees being blown down and houses losing their roofs all around Melbourne.  The shadecloth stayed in place thanks to the easy to use fastening system and there was minimal damage to my broad beans.
 
I have been refurbishing some of my Ecobins ready to plant Tomatoes.  I pulled them apart returning the used soil to one of my ornamental beds, and thoroughly cleaned everything else including the scoria.

I painted and reassembled the bins upgrading the overflow arangements as previously described.  New soil was taken from a drip irrigated garden bed and enriched with plenty of aged sheep manure.  A 60mm layer of home made compost was applied as a top dressing complete with worms harvested from my Ecobed worm farms.

I am experimenting this year with alternative water tank covers.  Instead of the heavy duty shadecloth used in previous years, I am using a layer of sugar cane straw in 2 of the bins, and coconut fibre matting in the others.  Hopefully they will be more effective at stopping soil getting into the water tanks without reducing water wicking capabilities.

Each Ecobin has an 1800mm star picket to support the Tomatoes as they grow.  Its held in place by the Scoria and soil, but for added security, I have tied them to the top rims of the bins with galvanised wire.

In about 4 weeks, the Tomatoes should be ready for planting, and the soil microbes will be fully active ready to start feeding them.