Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Planting up a storm

On Saturday Di and I planted more natives down in the North-Eastern corner and where the creek comes in from the east. I planted lomandra longifolia and ghania sieberiana along the fence line and Di planted teatree (Melaluca squarrosa and Melaluca ericifolia) along the creek. Di put a few tiny honey locust seedlings in the west end of big swales one and two. I also transplanted nasturtiums into the swale mounds on big swales 1 and 2. In the last light of the day, Di and I planted out a Bunya pine in the South-Eastern corner. We planted it ceremoniously into some rich humus we took from the heart of the big old near-dead blackwood we felled a few months ago. From the end of the life of one great tree to the beginning of the life of another.

On Sunday I finished planting out the three main swales in nasturtium and planted out sunroot tubers every metre or so along the base of the bottom swale and also into the batter of the level area we extended out in front of the shed along with a bit of the similar area on the dam wall. Sunroots inhibit the growth of other plants but will be about 1.5 metres and down hill from productive trees and do a good job of shading the mounds in summer as well as providing more chop and drop style mulch. I also placed a stake with a knife-cut at the height of the closest-to-the-house tagasaste on the top paddock swale. It's growing fast and now we can measure how fast.

I also planted a single kowhai, a NZ legume tree in the middle of the top swale. We got the seed from Steve La Valley's botanical ark and just the one has germinated. I hope it does alright. I dotted a few albizias that Stacey gave us around the piped crossings on the bottom two swales and a variety of subtropical legumes here and there along the top swale. I put a passionfruit in the small broadbean bed to the west of the tennis court and mulched the bed with rice husks. There are bare patches here and there, especially on the sun-facing side, in the covercrops. Next time they predict a decent stretch of wet I'll scatter more. Bit by bit we'll cover them up so come Spring they rise up like one long green snake.

Nettles and chickweed are colonising soil where it was disturbed by the last lot of cows. Pretty and edible!

Here's the flow the South Eastern spring is currently contributing to the top main swale. It's a small flow but is very persistant and will increase dramatically as the soil is recharged with Winter rain.

Here's a pipe's-eye perspective of the water sheeting out along the swale.

Here are the two smaller house orchard swales and to the right the diversion drain bringing road runoff sideways into the main system. We've already started planting out bare-rooted fruit trees into these mounds - so far a plumcot, a nashi, a nectarine and an apricot.

Bill and Di planting natives down on the Eastern boundary last week.

Carey cleaning out the tank above the house. Over a foot of gunk with a good-sized little tree growing in there too!

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