After inheriting a front yard that was about 20 cm too high, for the house the front wall or the drainage in the garden, I have busily set about arranging a retaining wall (still to come between pile of bricks and first three stones on the left) and reducing the height level with the path on the right (which also has been given a new foundation and relayed) - phew!!

After laying the brick pavers I would now like to look after the soil

What would be the best first crop to help feed the soil - it is lovely soil nice and dark and friable, but I would really appreciate fellow bloggers advise

 

Cheers Anja

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Comment by Anja Richards on August 14, 2011 at 10:24pm

Thanks David - feedback suchas this is great to keep me inspired - appreciate it

Comment by David Whyte on August 14, 2011 at 9:51pm

I use a thick layer of mulch on top of cardboard. Driver to start with was weed suppression but have been very surprised at how quickly the soil is built up. Have a video showing how much was created in a  year or two.

 

Comment by Kate Flint on April 15, 2011 at 6:24pm

Hi Anja,

At the grain and fodder stores in Adelaide you can get various, suitable green manures very cheaply... like the mustard / peas / broad beans etc etc. You need to sow an assortment thickly and only get them to about a foot high before chopping them down, sprinkling with blood and bone or chicken manure pellets and roughly turning them in. Then you can leave them for a minimum of 2 weeks before planting into the soil. Water, if there isn't enough rain to keep it all moist.

If you do the sowing now, you will still have time in Adelaide for planting things like rainbow chard and kale, before the end of winter. Best to plant veg. seedlings into it, rather than try to sow into it, after the treatment this time. 

An assortment of rainbow chard /mixed kales / red cabbages will look wonderful for several months.

Comment by Anja Richards on April 15, 2011 at 3:30am

Thanks Gary,

I had read a great book thru twice as I caught the train all about all these wonderfull herbs that do wonderful things for your soil - but I have never been able to track them down and now not sure where the book is so I appreciate your advice

Before I paved the centre area had grass and the sides had roses violets and native iris and miniature japanese bamboo as well as grapes at the front

I had tried broad beans on one side so might have stumbled onto the right thing

Yes it is in the city - Adelaide actually - and in a fairly formal street - so growing edible things in the front is a double challenge

It has also taken me soooo long to do all this the neighbours are showing an interest in what it will turn out like

Comment by Gary Brown on April 13, 2011 at 7:26pm

Hi Anja

I'm from Auckland and unfamiliar with your climate but I imagine that you , like us, are limited with what you can grow over winter.

Your garden looks like it is in a city environment and not knowing what has been grown there before I would be tempted to use the winter as an establishment period. To this end I would grow a crop of mustard, this fulfils two functions, it is a great soil conditioner when dug in at about 300mm high, and it also is a great crop to clean up a patch of soil .

Alternatively winter peas or beans will enrich the soil.

Hope you have a corner set aside for a worm farm or compost bin.

Sorry to be so brief, I'm cooking dinner as I write this !

Good luck.

Gary

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