Written By: notices and features - Date published: 2:00 pm, July 20th, 2012 - 30 comments
Categories: weekend social -
Weekend social is for non political chat. What’s on for the weekend, gigs, film or book reviews, sports, or whatever.
No politics, no aggro, why can’t we all just get along?
Good afternoon TS Posters. The weekend is almost upon is. That means work for some, and rest or leisure for others. And once again, I’d like to pick your brilliant minds regarding a task I have planned for the weekend. I am planning on breaking rocks………..
All excited about my newly purchased bare patch of land. Have spent time at the wonderful local independant garden centre, got my plan for planting completely sussed and have come across an obstacle. The ground beneath ones feet is rock. On testing the soil with a spade I have discovered that there is layer of clay loam soil only 20cm deep anywhere on the site, before you hit solid rock and your spade just bounces right back. Hire pool tell me they don’t have any rock breaking equipment suitable for this situation and the helpful guy at the garden centre suggests using a metal pole with a sharp end to smash the rock…………sounds a bit ambitious. (Maybe get JK involved). I do have a rubber mallet so can give it a go, but posters, do you have any ideas? What are your thoughts on breaking rocks?
What are your thoughts on breaking rocks?
Any chance you could go the other way? Build wooden (rock?) rectangles, truck in some top soil, and fill them up? End up with raised beds – nice for many reasons.
Rob is onto it Rosie, dont even contemplate breaking rock, build on top of it.
The clay and fractured rock beneath it will provide plenty of minerals and substrate, your job is to build up the organic matter above. Raised beds etc help keep thi in place. The worms annd soil organisms if fed properly will do the rest. Concentrate on a small area at first choosing the most sheltered from wind and best for sun to start with, good results will follow as day follows night.
+1 on raised beds, they also save your back and knees!
Yep, as Hire pool guy said. It’s solid steel, about 6 foot long, two inches hexagonal diameter, has a flat end and a pointy end. But that’s hard, hard work and keep your feet clear. I would just build gardens on top of the soil you have. Or do the whole “no dig garden” thing and work your way up. Since you already have 200mm, you’re already there for veges, as long as it drains ok. Save the pneunatic hammer and dynamite for planting trees.
And the bigass sledgehammer option. Either way, watch your back! Very easy to go a bit too far and feel it for the next week
I would say as someone in the industry that you are wasting your time trying to smash the rock. All you will do is create little bathtubs for your plants to sit in and they will suffer from wet feet ending up with phytophera or similar in short time. I would suggest either building up the soil level a little bit or starting with smaller specimens. It’s amazing what will establish in only 200mm of soil. You should also give everything a good layer of a natural mulch I recommend well aged tree chippings as it’s effective and very cheap. Not more than $20 m3 or sometimes free (or dozen beer a truck load) if you approach a local arborist
Rather than a garden centre I also recommend going to your local trade nursery, the plants will cost a fraction of the garden centre, usually they are in the region of 100% less.
Where in the country are you? I may be able to point you in the direction of a good one.
If it’s solid rock everywhere then I wouldn’t even attempt to break it as you’ll never get through it. As others have said, grow upwards. It’ll limit your garden somewhat but it won’t break you.
I don’t know whether you’d be up to it, but a lot can be achieved with a pick-axe. Better still, invite some friends around and take turns, a couple of people at a time bashing the ground, everyone else eating and making merry.
Gardening parties can be fun, and satisfying for all concerned.
What are your thoughts on breaking rocks
Hi Rosie, having spent most of my working life as a linesman I’ve dug thousands of holes in everything from papa and sand through to pit metal and ironsand pans so I’d recommend using what’s known in the trade as a digging bar.
Take a drainage spade like this to your friendly structural steel boys and have them chop off the handle around 200mm above the spade shoulder and replace the handle by welding at least 2 metres of 40mm thick walled steel pipe to the spade.
You’ll need the new handle length, variable to suit the users physique and do cap the open end, and heavy pipe to give weight to the digging tool and kept sharp it’ll be useful for everything from chopping tree roots to cutting asphalt and splitting concrete pavers.
And I’m home alone this weekend so I’ll be playing up…starting now.
edit: and what Gareth said, avoid garden centres like the plague.
build up; does not take Time
could always try using some gypsum to assist in breaking down the clay – From Palmers info
“Clay soils retain moisture and are difficult to work with. Applying gypsum helps break down the clay particles and improves soil structure. ”
Or try to find plants that like the environment that you have. nature has already worked its magic in having plants that thrive in all conditions, and I am sure that there will be plants that will take to what you are working with. But from my limited experiences work with nature.
I hate to say this but you do know whats under solid rock ? More solid rock. So High/Low Explosive could be the only thing to shift it . Just add more topsoil, and grow it up, not down. Breaking rocks is HARD labour.
Thanks All! A flurry of good suggestions. We will be doing some raised beds for herbs and vege, and containers for some small grade trees and shrubs and flowers. We are however on (as well as a tight budget) a and windy exposed site and need to plant trees on the border for privacy and shelter from the summer sun. A large pohutakawa was gifted some time ago, and there are some other screening trees and hedging I’m keen on getting in, so to a degree the rock breaking is unavoidable – bring on that dynamite!
When did life get so suburban……..Its all good though. More trees, more lungs for us. Not to mention food and encouraging the biodiversity.
Enjoy your weekends all:-)
Rosie, you could also plant plants suited to 20cm soil over rock. Pohutukawas grow on vitrually nothing, although it probably takes ages. Also maybe succulents, cactus, grasses
Start with a pb5 or 18 grade for your shelter species, Pittosporum ‘stephens island’ would be a good choice with your site conditions. Coprosma repens would also do well.
I’d recommend Karo (Pittosporum crassifolium) aka the NZ turpentine tree..
Also a good pick, it does need a bit more trimmimg to atain the same density of ‘stephens island’ but does grow taller. P. `stephens island’ reaches @3m max. A good nursery will sell a quantity of 50 pb5’s for at most 6.50 each. Some will do deals on mixed species. If you used somewhere like Kauri park and bought a 1L grade they will arrive at you’re door for around $5 each
Not sure about their prices but if they’re anything like our regional council they’d be yards cheaper than the garden shops.
Well worth a crack, thinking about it your local forest and bird could be worth a crack, my local branch sells left over plants for @ $3 each and it adds some funds so they can continue their good work
Or, if you are in the Tauranga area, Kereru Gardens sells all there plants for $3.50 each, good range including roses! http://www.kererugardens.com/default.html
I will look forward to instalments on Rosies garden, there was a wealth of wisdom in the replies which as a gardener is really good as there are always new tricks to learn, and we Standardistas are certainly green fingered.
My weekend is cleaning the green algae off the concrete, water blast methinks. Bugger. Plus the Crusaders game.
30 seconds “Just spray and Walk away!”
Some bedTime reading;
Kahlil Gibran-“The Prophet”(master Politics, master fortune:master prophecy master Fortune)
unbelievable i watched Coro out of Habit for sooooooooooo long time, but learning time.
POPULAR CULTURE way in….
“Tom Jones”by Henry Fielding is really funny, though a little convoluted
most memorable Sci-Fi thriller for me, cant remember title; memory
However, it is about a woman from the north of england/Scotland who “picks up hitchikers”for an interesting Meaning, needless to say, short trips.
Oh yes “An Instance of the FingerPost” Iain Pears is worth persevering with.
“Only Tough Guys Dance” Norman Mailer
Musee; something for all PEOPLE
The Damned-Machine-gun Ettiquette
The Doors-The Doors
Jethro Tull-something for everybody…”lets give a great big hand for Jethro Tull!”
BLACK SABBATH (had to shout inside) V4
Emmy-Lou Harris-Wrecking Ball
Cat Stevens-Tea for The Tillerman
Ben Harper-“diamonds on the inside”
Smashing Pumpkins-“Bullet and Butterfly” (despite all your rage……)
Deep Purple-“Ted The Mechanic”-vavoom—–
Florence and The Machine-Ceremonial-“no Light-no Light”
Iron Maiden-The Trooper
with a Concrete Blonde to finish
Gangs of New York-DANIEL Day-Lewis
There Will Be Blood-yep, thats Daniel Day-Lewis again; it’s all about OIL.
better go on way…
Thank you again for so many ideas – wasn’t expecting that! Taken on board all your different approaches, including Joe90’s advice re welding the drainage spade. My bro’s work in drainage so I’ll have alook at their tools of trade. Given the site there has to be compromise, to the wild winds, the sun and the rock. Its a long term project too. And yes, have some pittosporums in my line of sight for shelter and they can handle difficult soil.
Hey fnjckg I note particular albums:Sandinista, replicas, mezzanine plus others.
Not sure about Hildago, a bit heartbreaking if you’re a friend to the horses.
Do enjoy, and hope your weekend is easy and relaxing
Over and out.
The Open and have finally seen Steven Alker (time for bed) on TV birding the 18th. Nice to see a kiwi doing great guns- currently 12th . Now we in Kiwiland will have some connection with a major for the weekend.
Also on a sporting note the we have made the World Series of Baseball, with Max Key in the team any guess “Son Of …… ” Talent is genetic !!!
If it is him and he’s relying on genetics he should stay well clear of cricket!
‘eres some free thoughts for the universe to the left.
abandon Fructose: brain will be better
brain will build better world
(though it may forget to order firewood on the Way)
choose to love People as self
“..cos when its good its oh so good, but when its gone…its gone”.-Ben Harper
(when you have every thing, u have everything to loose) “Diamonds on the Inside”
MIndfulness becomes a habit, replaces Habit.
master Rhetoric: master silence.(primates see, primates do, but not all ways)
Interestingly, cats may continue to predate upon, and kill prey, generally via an incisor in the back of the neck, up to and beyond 100 times, beyond satiation: master satiation:slave to appetite
e-clecticism. and a word for today is Lever
(machine “Da bit.h”-sit down and do some “slappin'”)
the personal “world” looks in: the Social World looks out…..
Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier is 75 years old, and it’s still worth reading:
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