My gardening work is now easier. My garden diary for 2000-2001 shows what has been done since we settled on this block of land. The list of inorganic rubbish goes on: cars; car parts; cattle carcasses; fencing materials; glass; growing pots; horticultural chemicals and containers; house demolition rubble; irrigation pipes; plastic; rusted barbed wire in the grass; telegraph cable; water pipes.
The stream is cleared of fallen trees and flood debris. Swamp Cypress and Nyssa Sylvatica now grow in a swampy area that used to feed into a small sludgy pond. The ponding area was filled in. Pest plants like blackberry, hawthorn, honeysuckle, jasmine, pampas grass, privet, ragwort and scotch thistle involved hard physical effort of removing by digging, pulling, slashing and then burning. Rampant invasive growth of Kikuyu and Wandering Jew is another story.
The saw-tooth polyhouse was no longer in commercial use – apparently the previous owners grew Sandersonias for export for a few years before out time. We’re not commercial growers – just lifestylers with home gardening opportunities to be developed over time. A weedy site, weedmat helped smother the weeds. The overhead watering system was revamped. We reclad the roof with heavy storm-grade plastic. There is a scoria base hence the drainage is good. I don’t know how to work a polyhouse in terms of horticulture. We have tended to use this building in part as a very big ‘plastic’ shed where we store bales of hay made in our paddocks.
Himself constructed wooden pens to rear calves during winter-spring months. It’s warm and dry for them as we have sawdust layer on top of the weedmat in their pens. These young animals go from the shed out into the paddocks and onto the grass as they grow bigger.
In another area, I’ve managed to grow aubergines, beans and tomatoes reasonably well using a dripper system for irrigation. It gets too hot for growing anything over the summer months there’s little ventilation other than rolling up the wall sides and roof vent. Lots of learning from the experience happening here.