OK, so this is what kept me busy on this 4 day Easter Weekend. Needs must because in order to pull one of my garden beds apart to remove the Kikuyu runners from the soil i needed to replant my strawberry plants. I'm lucky that at our factory many of the electrical components arrive on pallets. The larger ones we can reuse to send goods out but the smaller ones are not much use. I don't know what happened to them in the past but more recently they've been put aside for me. I've got a pile of six there now and so i brought a few home this weekend to start this project - Operation Strawberry Pallet Garden. Oh before i move on, can you see that the grass is starting to die, Yippey!! , said no one ever except me.
|This is what they look like when i get them. 4 evenly spaced cross planks on front with 2 on the back (which would really be the bottom)|
Are you wondering why I'm being a trades assistant and doing most of the manual labour. Hubby had surgery last week on his foot and will be out of action for up to 12 weeks. Using open surgery they cut his plantar fascia (the Arch Tendon) leaving just enough to support an arch.
|Don't you just love his scooter (hired). Instead of using crutches you kneel with your sore leg on the seat and scoot with the other. The injured foot never touches the ground. As we have no stairs he can get around quite well inside the house.|
|Now do i make sense?|
|I'm doing this on the deck so you can be sure i was being extra careful where the paint landed.|
Next step is to make pockets within the frame to hold the soil and plants. I had a choice of using the weed mat im using out the back or some scraps of shade cloth i had left over in the shed. I chose the shade cloth and using scissors i cut two strips. This is hard to explain and so look at the picture first.
|This is what it looks like from the back. Yeah, i would definitely sew them next time. Do you think the strawberry plants will notice the substandard work?|
OK, we are getting there. Now, everyone tells me that because the vessel is free draining that I'm going to have problems keeping it moist. What to do? Look for a very moisture retentive medium to grow in. Featuring... coconut coir. I bought a small block that grew and grew and grew and grew until it filled the wheelbarrow.
When you are using this stuff, make sure you do so over grass and use gloves. You add water (30L) to the block to make it expand and any leaking liquid will contain tannins that could stain your hands or concrete.
This one came from Bunnings and it had added fertilisers and was suitable for planting directly into it. This is of course, is just an experiment on my behalf but I'm hoping that when the pallet gardens are mounted that they will have a drip watering feeder to each plant. I do know that when i watered the top level it dripped down to the bottom level and very little escaped out the bottom. These will however be mounted over a ground level garden bed and so any moisture dripping below will water the plants below.
Looking Good. I certainly didn't leave it this way though. Any plant that's been ripped out of it nice warm bed and replanted is going to be stressed. So to minimise this and to allow the plants to recover i ate these strawberries (someone had to do it and they were so so sweet) and trimmed the leaves back to the next layer of growth which was about 10cm from the roots. After a thorough drink i had to place them not on the intended mounting spot (its not built yet) but into one of the raised beds not being used. Someone else likes strawberries and digging - i wonder who?
|Tilly watching me do all the work. On the left are the remaining strawberry plants.|
I haven't finished them yet but with it being Easter the tile centre was closed. Ive found what i want online but I'm hoping there is old stock at the local place. I'm hoping to add a feature tile to the front to decorate the pallet gardens.
Check out other fantastic tiles here. The Tile Mural Store has some great murals and feature tiles.
I love strawberries and I'm looking forward to a summer of my favourite strawberry salad.
|Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar is a match made in heaven.|
You dont think all this was enough to keep me busy do you. I read two wonderful books. The first one, Souvenir (Therese Fowler) was a debut novel and is very good. I wasnt planning on reading but my Bestie dropped it off for me and that was it. I looked at it for a few hours and then i was gone for the rest of the day. Yep, im a book a day girl. The second novel was a light Australian yarn about a Dr working FIFO on a mining site. Ive read Charlotte Nash's other books and they are a good read when you dont want anything heavy (i was suppose to be gardening, remember).
The rest of the weekend was spent doing the usual, housework, shopping and cooking. Hubby is feeling quite depressed at the moment being injured and unemployed. A big steak always picks him up, maybe its the extra iron.
|Yes my beans.|
I first posted a pic of this bowl with tomatoes on the 15th December here. Mid Dec to Mid April, that's not a bad season.
Hope you all enjoyed your Easter Break whether it was a Staycation like me or a trip away. Since Anzac Day is next Friday, we have a 3 day weekend next week.
Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz