OK, I’m the first to admit, I have bought some really dud implements over the last six years. There’s the flymo, which was supposed to be used to trim the pool lawn and the steep grass hill in our renovated backyard, but which now hangs unused in the shed. There’s the chipper, which can’t even mulch twigs the thickness of my little finger, which by now probably houses a few families of redback spiders, also in the shed. And there are probably a few smaller useless ones too!
But this little gorilla garden cart, which I bought with my sister’s birthday voucher (OK and a little bit more added in) is the best thing since sliced bread. It takes 3 wheelbarrow loads, it is as stable as anything (the garden cart I got for “free” with the ride-on mower ages ago regularly tipped over, like regularly!), it is equally easy to pull manually or to tow behind the ride-on, it turns on a dime, easily manouvers into the tightest spaces and best of all – it very easily tips its load when you need it to. I don’t often sing a product’s praises but this thing has me quite excited!
The first results
One of the biggest time-wasters on one or two acres is the time it takes to walk or cart mulch (or anything else) from one corner to the other. I know all the permaculture books say you have to have your work area in the middle, which makes a lot of sense, but sometimes the property, or the aesthetics, just don’t allow that. So using this setup, I have now worked away a massive pile of mulch in no time at all, OK well, in three long double man days!
About 100m along the access way has been mulched. To the left is a plum, ahead two avocados (of the four planned) and two beautyberries and behind me another 5 plums – all different species.
The entire back section, namely between the work path and the walkway, as well as around the “secret garden” has all been mulched. Both these sections have native screening and other beneficial plants.
Mulching and forest garden?
So you may ask, why so much mulch in an edible forest garden? Doesn’t it look a lot like a conventional mulched garden? Sure, it does, but with a good reason. We have such large areas that have to be planted, if we don’t highly mulch them now, the weeds and bushes will just take over and then all our new trees and big shrubs will just be run over. Besides, we found at Homeland that the heavy mulching makes such an improvement to the soil. Where previously was hard dead clay shards, is now dark wetter softer living soil. So in a way, we are preparing these large areas for future under-story planting.