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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:49 am 
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Location: Swan Valley
Hey great work. I see you have roofed your chicken coop - is that for the crows? I have lost a couple of ~ 6-8 week old chicks recently to the crows and pretty much every single egg. Put chicken wire across the run to keep the crows out but they knew where the good eggs were and managed to break in. Right pain in the backside.
I get up early now and I see the crows waiting in line for the chooks to lay and then they are in like a flash. Electric fencing doesn't seem to knock them about too much either.

How you finding the wicking beds? Better then filling with soil/compost?


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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:08 am 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
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Yep, I have to fight the crows for the eggs too, but not any more. We also have a lot of kites which will take chicks.

The wicking beds seem to work great but the soil I fill them with is pretty rich so I am not sure if the good plant growth is due to the wicking bed design or if they would have grown just as well in the same dirt with out the wicking bed part?

Picked up 2 point of lay isa browns for $8 each yesterday for the kids as pets, my daughters beloved Isa Brown (Winstan Clucky) carked it after 5 years 2 days ago, she raised it from hatchling as was very attached as it was so friendly and would let her catch it are carry it around :hug: . The Kids love Isa browns as they are so tame so I got them some more even though I prefere Australorps my self.

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Location: Perth hills, Western Australia
I gotta agree with Gnash a few comments back - awesome effort Simo, absolutely awesome !

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:51 am 
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Location: Swan Valley
Simo, couple of questions on the wicking beds.

What width did you make them and did you need to join the black plastic at all?
What material did you put in the bottom of the beds for the water reservoir?

With the potatoes, would an idea be to have 2 taps on the side to control the point at where the reservoir fills to with one of them being right at the bottom or close to it. This I am thinking would effectively make it a normal vegie bed if the bottom tap was left open.


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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:39 pm 
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fizzyj wrote:
Right pain in the backside.
I get up early now and I see the crows waiting in line for the chooks to lay and then they are in like a flash. Electric fencing doesn't seem to knock them about too much either.



Find yourself and old rabbit trap fizzy and set it up on the roof of the pen with bluetak and an egg on the trip plate :hello: , you'll only need to bag one crow BUT tie the dead one to the top of your chicken run.

It has worked for me in the past, just make sure your holding the pressure spring securely when placing the egg or if the egg is small enough place it when closed.
Your fingers won't grow back :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Location: Kalamunda WA
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Looking good Simo, I have been cutting back my pumpkins this year as I am sick of them taking over everything. Hopefully by containing each one to around 4 square metres I won't loose much production and they will put their energy into making what they have better. It seems to be working so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:29 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
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fizzyj wrote:
Simo, couple of questions on the wicking beds.

What width did you make them and did you need to join the black plastic at all?
What material did you put in the bottom of the beds for the water reservoir?

With the potatoes, would an idea be to have 2 taps on the side to control the point at where the reservoir fills to with one of them being right at the bottom or close to it. This I am thinking would effectively make it a normal vegie bed if the bottom tap was left open.

My beds are 1.5m wide to maximise the volume of dirt for the wood I had. This is a bit wide to to reach the edge of the bed that is up against the fence.

I line the bottom of the beds with carpet to protect the black builders plastic that goes over the top of it. No joins needed I just fold it into the corners. On the bottom I lay recycled PVC pipe sections with holes cut in the bottom edge and cover with hay, then I cover it all in old shade cloth to keep the dirt out of the water resivour, then add dirt.

I like the dual tap idea, this would be perfect for spuds, well done, I might try this as my spuds rotted this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
Location: Perth's North eastern hills
As inspired by the classic Avian style architecture of "Bumnut Castle" let me present a virtual tour of "Cackleberry Manor"

Secondhand shed painted and fenced on two sides

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One quarter of the feed shed sectioned off for the living quarters

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Section of wall above the nesting boxes swings in to allow access to eggs with out stepping in bowel offerings.

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
Location: Perth's North eastern hills
Doorway

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Access and egress to the run

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Ventilation

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:26 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
Location: Perth's North eastern hills
Up the ladder to the nesting boxes

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Down the ladder

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The Run, this area is 40 squ meters in area and as it is roofed so parrots can't get in I am going to plant my stone fruit and grapes in the area.

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:24 am 
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Thats a great "manor" simo....makes getting the eggs easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:37 am 
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Great work, love everything, well done.

Is there a basic rule of thumb for where you place the drainage hole on a wicking bed.
I was going to make a few up first in pots just to grow lettuces as it just seems way more productive and water efficient than the conventional method.
Cucumbers will be next.
I've got crap soils and it usually doesn't rain here for 6 months during the dry season(except this year when it hasn't stopped all year).


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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Location: Kalamunda WA
Location: Kalamunda, WA
Snags wrote:
Great work, love everything, well done.

Is there a basic rule of thumb for where you place the drainage hole on a wicking bed.


On a 400mm bed around 100mm up. As a rule the moisture will wich 200-300mm depending on soil types and amound of organic matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
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Yep, I'm with Burnsy, I have the outlets 200mm below the top of the soil level, but 300mm is the recommended depth of soil for vegie roots. I you can't build up the edges of the bed high enough for 300mm of free draining soil and still have a good sized resivour just dig down into the the ground below the bed and line the ditch with the plastic to increase volume :thunbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Simo's Block
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
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Any one got any ideas about what is happening here? I planted seeds form a bought packed and all the other plants produce yellow squash but this plant just keeps growing bigger and bigger fruit with out them turning yellow.

I'm going to see how big it can get.


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