Blitz blogs

Permablitz #7 - Cally's Place (Sept 2010)

Posted on October 3, 2010 at 2:25 AM

Who Lives Here Cally and her two dogs, Cassie and Kiki!


 Cally Directing!

Aims of the Blitz

The aim with my yard was to make it as productive as possible whilst still allowing my dogs some space to run around in.


Project Details


 Berryponics - Before

Berryponics Workshop

Berryponics - Stephen's Workshop

Berryponics - Ready for planting!

Project 1 : Berryponics

The most complicated project was the berryponics system down the west side of the property – basically a series of wicking beds designed to allow production to occur in the most inhospitable of Australian environments – directly under Eucalyptus trees, which are notorious for sucking every last bit of moisture out of the soil around them.

My job ahead of the blitz was to plug all holes in the tubs with silicon and pond liner, to ensure they wouldn’t leak.



 Front Yard - Before

Team Leaders, Warren and Alison, planning

Halfway there in the front yard!

Finishing touches on the Front Yard

Project 2 : Ground Preparation

The second project was to prepare the ground for a native garden under another pair of eucalypts in the front garden, on a north facing slope. Again, because of the issue of root competition from eucalypts, the strategy was to separate the garden bed from the roots by digging down, laying geotextile (super thick weed mat), and then piling up fresh soil, compost and mulch on top, ready for planting out.


 Side yard - Swale before

Swale system - after digging


Filling in the swale


Team Leader, Riccardo, adding some finishing touches!


Project 3 : Swale System

The third project consisted of digging a path down the side of the house that doubled as a swale system, capturing rain water and letting it slowly soak into the beds around the path which would contain a ‘forest’ of fruit trees. There was a bit of preparation required for this site too, as an old concrete path down the side of the house had to be removed ahead of the blitz. Thankfully I found a pair of willing tradies to jackhammer out the old path for a reasonable fee.


Challenges faced  

Not enough chairs or tables (despite already having three, (yes three!), dining tables!); not having rocks to finish off the fruit tree swale system; not having enough cutlery or crockery (hooray for Anne-Maree and my neighbour Sarah!).


Achieved on the Day

With so many helping hands, the projects were all completed by the end of the day. I was thrilled. What an excellent day.


Follow Up

1. Fruit tree swale system – I’ve put rocks as borders almost all of the way along, but still need to get a few more rocks! All the trees bar one are in leaf and looking happy. And guess what – the Jerusalem artichokes have popped their heads up out of the ground now too! With all of the rain we had recently, I got a friend to cut open two of my gutters so that rain could flow into the system, and it looks to be working well. Great to see the pond all filled up with water again

2. Berryponics: well, I’ve planted up the tubs, and they’re starting to grow well. I’m especially pleased with the cranberries which are putting on heaps of new growth. Looks like I might get a crop of white currants in a couple of months as well

3. The bush tucker zone: Thanks to the dogs, this zone needed a bit of remedial action just recently. This involved pushing the soil back far enough that I could find the geotextile underneath and put a proper border around the zone so the soil stays in place. This duly completed, I have now planted the zone with lots of seeds – mostly warrigal greens, though interspersed with corn, beans, and bordered with nasturtiums – so looking forward to when they all come up in the warmer weather!

Photos Link Cally's Blitz Day

Cally's Article SEE-Change Newsletter Aug/ Sept 2010

Cally's Article SEE-Change Newsletter Oct/ Nov 2010

Categories: Swales, Food forest, Wicking bed

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Reply Taryn
6:11 AM on September 23, 2012 
Nice to see more progress shots! I'm definitely keen to get involved & have a blitz on our place! Will need lots of help in the planning phase though, the more I learn in the workshops, the more I realise I just don't know!
Reply Bec
8:54 PM on October 31, 2010 
Sounds awesome, Cally! Would love to see some more photos in Summer!