i've spent the last couple of days working on the garden outside. a lot of space was being wasted out there, and with summer here it makes sense to have more things happening outside.
harmen and i started by building some planter boxes for the existing plants we had. this was done by collecting a few of those flat bread crates and raising them with some bricks for drainage. we lined the bottom of the crates with some old cardboard, then pulled an old wooden crate apart to build up the sides and have some depth. we raked the old leaves away and found beautiful, fertile soil underneath. lots of happy worms, slaters, witchetty grubs and scary-as-fuck centipedes (scolopendromorpha variety. thanks Centipedes of Australia). apart from the bugs, our garden is now home to a tomato plant, chili, eggplant, capsicum, passionfruit, basil and parsley. apart from the plants themselves, all of the materials/soil was found or built by us.
the next project was to build a rainwater collection system for the garden. whenever it rains here we have a huge amount of water running off the roof of our warehouse as well as the two places next door. rather than watering our plants with fresh drinking water, we may as well catch and reuse the rain. i found a big plastic barrel at reverse garbage for $20 (about 200L capacity). we bought some second hand pvc pipe and garden hose from the bower for about $15. harmen cut the lid off the barrel and covered the hole with shadecloth to keep the leaves and mozzies under control, then fixed the pvc pipe to the existing gutter so the rainwater flows into the drum. eventually we will have a gravity fed hose punched with holes continuously feeding the garden beds.
i also bought a box of grass seeds yesterday. we spent today breaking up the concrete, digging up fresh soil and redistributing it across the garden. it's a lot of work, but i'm sure it will be worth it once we have a nice green lawn instead of concrete and leaves. we'll finish up tomorrow so we should (hopefully) see grass starting to sprout in the next week or so.