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Gary & Amy Hussey live on a one acre lifestyle block on the edge of Mundaring Village. They have plenty of space to garden, and having been there for five years, have some semi-established fruit trees, a vegie garden and a chook run. A strip of native bush remains as a screen and to feed the birds; and the property has a number of large marri trees scattered around the perimeter.
Gary & Amy were clever - when they were in the process of building their home, they had earthmoving equipment dig out a couple of areas with future garden beds in mind! (Hills people that have gardens full of rock will COMPLETELY understand the wisdom of this!)
They have a bore on the property which seems to give good water. (At some stage we will organise the water to be tested for salt & pH.) As you would expect in the hills, the soil pH is lower than that on Bassendean sands - with the Hussey's base soil coming in at a pH of 6.4, and is a typical hills laterite clay.
The retired couple have young adult son still studing who lives with them; so try to grow some food to help the household budget. When I visited the garden I saw some great broccoli, spinach, & garlic growing, and one bed full of mustard. The family are growing a range of fruit trees (and persevering with some tropical types) but these are still fairly young.
We would expect some challenges from Gary & Amy's garden to come from marri roots. The garden site is quite open but will receive afternoon shade. Although Gary says their garden doesn't get frost (being fairly high on a hill) temperatures - especially at night time - would most certainly be colder than most areas of Perth; and with this slow start to spring, the vegies in Gary & Amy's garden are not doing much just yet... but hanging in there. They have fenced the garden bed - not just for the chooks, but the local bandicoots (quenda) are notorious up their way for snuffling through garden beds and damaging things. Omnivorous, they are helpful little critters with pest control eating bugs, so not using toxic chemicals or snail pellets around the place is paramount.
We hope you'll follow along with Gary & Amy's journey this Spring!
This item posted: 19-Sep-2016