Hackney Permaculture


Mulching the edge of a pond
April 11, 2009, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Doing, Thinking | Tags: , , , , ,

As previously mentioned we now have a pond but quite a bit of the black liner is showing which is kinda bad news as it is more likely to get punctured as a result.

The back story is that it is virtually impossible to make a small pond which is deep enough to keep bugs and grubs happy over the winter without having some steep edges. Depths of over 70cm are advised so frogs and toads can survive the pond freezing but it you only have a metre or two for your pond you are not then going to have shallow enough sides so that any organic matter can sit on the liner for stuff to grow in.

I thought I might have a go at mulching the edges with cardboard and then piling some mud on top to cover it over. In order to stop the mud from falling straight off the cardboard I peeled back the top layer from dampened cardboard to reaveal the bumpy underside, threaded some twigs into the cardboard to create ridges and made very thick icky mud which was really really fun! Seriously – this is an excuse for adults to make mud pies… oh yes.

Seems to have done the job nicely thus far and hopefully plants will start to bind it all together creating a long term organic cover over the liner.

The problem - visible pond liner

The problem - visible pond liner

Cardboard ridged and threaded with twigs covering liner

Cardboard ridged and threaded with twigs covering liner

The solution - mulched pond edge covering liner

The solution - mulched pond edge covering liner

Claudia planting around the pond

Claudia planting around the pond

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All mulched
Many hands make light work and yesterday four of us managed to bring ten more bags of compost back from the park and finish mulching the second half of our main growing space in next to no time at all.
Hackney Downs compost area

Hackney Downs compost area with official council sign

Main area fully mulched

Main area fully mulched

After mulching we split into two groups – Claudia and Parastow broke up some strawberry plants, which had been rescued from somewhere else, into smaller pots so they will survive the winter with some water and love.

Next they planted some rainbow chard which was already looking fairly tasty as it had started life in the same place as the strawberries.

Freshly planted Rainbow Chard

Freshly planted Rainbow Chard

Meanwhile Laura and I began to clear out the bed at the rear of the garden which revelead a dead bed frame, a kids trike and scooter, three barbeques, a couple of dead chairs and numerous other bits of junk.

We also spent an age filling up the pond but it was empty again this morning so we obviously need to do a better job of blocking the plug hole!

Dead bed and other misc junk

Dead bed and other misc junk



I mulch, therefore i am
September 26, 2008, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Doing | Tags: , , , , ,

Today was mulching day – we had Vanessa and Geri join us and the sun came out too, lovely.

Mulching (as I understand it) is the process of preparing areas of soil/weeds/land for planting by layering stuff on top which will given time and patience turn into lovely wonderful, fertile and weed-free soil.

We went for a layer of cardboard, a layer of hackney downs famous leaf compost, and a layer of garden cuttings from a neighbours garden:

Mulching - The First Cardboard Layer

Mulching - The first cardboard layer

Mulching - more cardboard please

Mulching - more cardboard please

Mulching - The second compost layer

Mulching - The second compost layer

Mulching - getting undesirables out of the cuttings

Mulching - getting undesirables out of the cuttings

Mulching - Flattening the top cuttings layer

Mulching - Flattening the top cuttings layer