Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Tree boxes

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Good weather and no builder on site meant Tania and I spent the weekend in the garden. The task for this weekend was to get the fruit trees that have been sitting on our front steps into the soil. My parents have apple and lemon trees in the their garden but they are so short and squat that mowing under them is a real pain. To avoid that I built three pretty simple boxes that cost just $40 NZD all up.

Materials:
Six 15×62.5cm Radiata planks (for the fronts)
Six 15×57.5cm Radiata planks (for the sides)
Twelve x 30cm Radiata steaks: H3 treated
pack of galvanized nails (at least 72)
big tub of black acrylic paint.

The planks were purposefully cut to have a difference of 5cm between the front and side pieces. They are 2.5cm thick so the over lap at the corners makes them square.


tree boxes front panelstree boxes completed

Nail the steaks to the shorter planks, then the longer planks. It is best to nail to the steaks rather than each other so that if one ever comes off it doesn’t take the others with it.

You’ll want to remove the grass from beneath the boxes so it doesn’t grow up and smother what ever you’re planting there. Just place the box where you want it and then dig around the edge to mark the square, remove the box and cut lines across the area a couple of inches deep. Slide the spade under neath and you’ll be able to life the turf right off. Of course you can dig it however you want but we needed to transplant the grass to cover and area where I removed a tree stump.


Tree boxes removing soilPainting the boxesflattening the boxes

Be careful when pushing the boxes into the ground, you wouldn’t want one side to get ahead of the others incase it twists the wood. You could knock each corner one by one, but if you’ve got a lovely assistant *waves hands and Tania enters stage left* you could do it like we did and use four feet to push all corners in simultaneously.

The end result
So we now have lemon, lime and mandarin trees in the front garden. We’ve got plans for another four. Perhaps nectarine, apple, pear and plum. A veritable orchard I tell you :-)


All doneLime treetree boxes job done

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

There are a few changes going on in my life, chiefly a new (ish) job, moving in with my girlfriend and soon we’ll be house hunting. The beginning of a new year gives me a good reason to sit back and do a bit of planning and thinking about the way I am heading. What do I want from life and how do I go about getting it. With the financial trouble that providing the newspapers with fresh doomsday headlines almost every day it occurred to me that it’s time for a rebalance. The commercialised and consumer centric society has had it’s day while the retailers were wailing about the public not spending “enough” this Christmas I was glad that the holiday season may return to being that, rather than the buying season it has become. So the retailers may go out of business, millions of jobs get lost. How can we cope? How about doing it ourselves? Tania and I are growing a few vegetables now and when we do buy a house we’re going to dedicate a large chunk of garden to feeding ourselves. It’s green and economical. My parents are doing the same after years of having an unproductive compost heap they now grow a full range of veges and my younger brothers are taking up fishing. This doesn’t quite stack up to Ayumi’s ideal of living in a fully self-sustainable community but it’s a good step along the way.

There are obviously people out there who are further down the track. My good friends The Noodleheads are two of those and have recently pledged to buy nothing new for a year, except essentials for hygiene & safety (think toothpaste and brake fluid). I’d like to get to that stage but with the potential for owning my first house this year and not having a lot of kitchen wear I doubt I’d be able to keep to the pledge. I can still do my part. I cycle to work now and only use my girlfriends’ car vary sparingly, thus reduction the amount of pollution I cause. I have only bought two shirts and a few pairs of socks in the last year, it’s not like I’m growing and my trousers haven’t quite worn out yet. I’m reusing shopping bags and those plastic boxes that (my flatmates’) takeaways come in and our recycling bin is filled quicker than the refuse one.

When we do get our house you can expect a few posts on the measures we’ll be installing to lower our impact on the planet and our wallets. Water troughs for the vegetable garden. If only solar panels were cleaner and cheaper to produce. I’d love to drop of the grid.