Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Waterless Garden Project Update {Guest Post}

This is a 'guest blog post' written by Philippa and Lincon about the findings to date in the 'Waterless Garden Project' that they are leading at the Kyabra Learning Centre, Kentucky. There will be a day in the Waterless Garden on Saturday 16th February 2013, for anyone who would like to volunteer their time and give to the land. We feel it is exciting discovering what has been happening and observing the experiments Lincon and Philippa have undertaken so far. Hope you enjoy their discoveries...

The Food Forest Waterless Garden Experiment

By Philippa & Lincon

The Garden

Findings so far:

Of all the Waterless systems that we have created, we have found to date that the plastic lined system held more moisture than the others, due to the water storage capacity.

Given the unseasonal conditions we experienced, being very hot & dry, we have been impressed & amazed at the growth & effectiveness of all these systems.

Once planted, for the first four weeks we had no rain & 3 of those weeks were 30 degrees plus heat, enough to wilt the sturdiest of vegetables!

However, all the systems were still moist & growing well, but needed to be topped up with water given this lack of rain & heat. We both feel had we had the usual summer rainfall this perhaps would not have been necessary.

Over the first 9 weeks of the gardens life to date we have watered only twice. 

There has been some fixing up required where the kikuyu has come through the gaps where there was either not enough newspaper, the newspaper was not overlapped or the kikuyu in its bid for survival & desire to grow has travelled along under the newspaper & found a thinner spot of mulch to come through!

The harvest so far has included ‘whale’ size Zucchini of various colours, watermelons, sweet lettuces & cucumbers. 
The chillies are on the way, as are the eggplants!

There already appears to be creatures moving into the garden, we have seen lots of lizards, frogs & many six & eight legged wonders!

We have also noticed that it seems as though a creature of some sort has made a home in one of the mounds, but to date we have yet to sight it! We will keep you posted….

What’s Next:

We have two systems left to finish of the approximate 50 that we started with! Amazing, Thank You everyone for the gift of your time.

By the middle of this month we will have completed the top half & spread a mountain more mulch to finish the task!

Now that the ground has had time to fallow, we will be planting out with the native legumes & other native plants to create the beginnings of the forest canopy & under storey!

We have planted some legume seeds (soy & cow pea) to get the  nitrogen fixing plants underway.

We will be holding working bees to complete these jobs over the next few weeks.

We look forward to seeing how the experiments go, watching things grow & letting you all know about it.

Our plans for the lower half of the garden are next, we already have some ideas & will begin to plot them on paper.

Having spent more money on the top half than we originally anticipated, funds will be required before we can commence the second stage of the project.

Should you have a desire to donate to The Waterless Garden Project, the details are below:

Donations for the Waterless Garden Project:

Account Name: Lincon Treloar
Account:  9897348
BSB:  638 - 080


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