Peter Rabbit’s garden is shaping up

In previous blog posts (read here) we have seen K’s new garden beds. Today’s post shows the latest development.

K told me, ‘The expansion update continues.
It’s a bit hard to make out but the rectangular shape of the original bed is outlined by the timber posts on the left hand side of the photo below. It sat at a very awkward angle to the new beds and we knew from the beginning it would have to be replaced. I started moving some plants from it up to the second bed because I couldn’t bear to compost or dig them in. A neighbour had gifted the red cabbages as seedlings and there were about 10 self-seeded Chinese broccoli that deserved a chance with transplants. 


Below I had started moving some of the soil to allow space for the new frame to go in, and the garden bed and fence timber had all been disassembled by M. The frame was originally constructed from treated pine (something I wouldn’t do again for an edibles garden bed) but even so there was a lot of borer damage and completely dry rotted sections in some of those old sleepers. 


The new Peter Rabbit bed starts taking its new shape. 


The reshaped bed has the same dimensions, in length, width, and number of sleepers high, as the one above it. It lines up with the line of the upper beds on the far side to allow more room between the fence and the driveway at this point. In a weird optical illusion it actually appears to be smaller than its twin though. 


We have recycled the original Peter Rabbit Garden gate. And sticking with this temporary fencing while we weigh up our permanent options. We’ll need to keep the beds protected from pademelons, occasional wallabies, rabbits and possums on the ground. The timber gate and posts are now the weakest point for possum access. The rest of the temporary fence is steel pickets and wire attached loose enough to allow movement if something tries to climb it. The possums don’t like the movement but if they wanted in they could definitely climb over the wire even without the bonus timber because it isn’t the full floppy required for possum proofing. 

On the top bed you can see some old security screens and chicken wire protecting the green manure seed underneath it from the birds. I haven’t done the same for the bottom bed yet and the wood pigeons and blackbirds have been pretty quick to figure that out.

If I did this over, I probably wouldn’t have saved the veg from the original bed. If I green manured all three beds in preparation for spring then the soil in the middle bed would also be much better for it once cut down and incorporated. So I am still wavering on whether to treat them all the same. The infrastructure to-do list for the near future in this area still includes: finalising the boundaries of the temporary fence, irrigation, wind protection, planning bird protection for the summer crops. 

On a side note, I’m not sure if I explained the original rectangular bed got its name from the “Peter Rabbit” fence that M built to keep the rabbits and pademelons out. Now that the expansion is being realised, I’ve started referring to the whole space as the Peter Rabbit Suite. I expect I will adopt names to reference the top two beds over time, perhaps as boring as Middle and Top or maybe something more inspired than that.’

I love the detail of the explanation of the processes. This is an interesting project and I look forward to the next update. Thanks K.

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