Ian's microfarm.


BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Saw a great idea on ABC Gardening Show --- a botanic gardens gardener controls invasive herbs and plants by planting them in pots and then planting the pots in the raised beds .... they are much less able to spread and take over and pretty much contained inside the rim of planted pot ....

This I'll be doing when I start populating my HERB BED.


BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Dammit , my strawberries are being stolen by birds,. they are waiting for the berries to ripen and then picking them off the plants and flying off with them ....

Time to invest in a roll of bird mesh and some 1" PVC pipe and compression fittings to make a frame that can be assembled as needed and placed over the ripening strawberries to stop the birds and fruitbats and possums from stealing the berries. Got a few Noisy Minerbirds who we've seen helping themselves to the strawberries.



BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Transplanted the roma tomatoes (grown from seeds) , the two parsleys (tube stock) to 40cm pots .... really rootbound in the tubes , pretty viciously separated the 3 tomato seedlings I could from the 4 in the tube , and same with the parsley, cut away lots of roots that were there.

Hoping I've not killed the plants. Guess we''ll know soon enough.


BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
The lucerne mulch has sprouted lucerne plants ( used to mulch blueberry ,finger lime and strawberry pots and trough/gutters ).

Have quite pretty flowers , leaving them for now as my farmer bigSIS tells me lucerne is a legume and enriches the soil with N2.




Strawberries in the too.
Still flowering , still growing strawberries , but I thing in need of boost with a nice spray w/ liquid seaweed plant booster.


2 pots of raspberry plants are growing like crazy

only 1 desert star aka natal plum survived ( white flowing plant )





blueberry plants in there somewhere , can you spot the leave poking out from the lucerne plant stems and leaves and flowers ?


roma tomato & triple curl parsley

roma tomato & italian parsley

transplanted / very roughly separated from each other parsley tube stock plants and seedling roma tomato plants look like they survived their ordeal ( they look alive still ).


At least one finger lime plant has survived :) .... other at other end of L Shaped Bed's low step is hiding in profuse lucerne folage that sprouted from the lucerne mulch.


THIS native violet survived and is starting to cover the pot and is flowering


My wife thinks the flowers on the lucerne are pretty , so wont let me cut the lucerne that has grown (sprouted) from the mulch to send to it to compost. So gonna have to wait til the lucerne stops flowering ( lucerne is a perennial flowering legume )


The strawberry plants in the 5 tier tower on the front patio went too long w/out water a couple of months ago , and died. Fortunately most the herb seem have survived in the 3 lower tiers , not the chocolate mint herb though.
The pomegranate cuttings are doing nicely too.

Plumber is booked for Monday to do my minor mods to the 20mm PVC cl12 at pressure 1in 4out manifold and to add some extra variflow dipper emitters to the irrigation systems.
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BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
20/12/2021 update
Hired a gardener ( expert on irrigation ) .

So she spent the afternoon
weeding all the beds , the berry pots and strawberry patches ,
planting 8 new strawberry plants in the top 2 tiers of the tower and moved the tower to back yard , not enough sun on front patio for stawberries,]
planting 8 new native tube stock shrubs in back 6m bed
sorted the timers ( swapped them over )
adding new emitters for new plants ( about 30 plants all up )
fertilizing with seaweed emulsion
and putting down 2 more 60L bags of eucymulch on the jumbo front bed.

Need plumber to mod manifold ( scheduled 10 Jan )
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BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
26 December 2021 ,

L shaped bed irrigation and timer sorted , some of the dipper emitters had blown off , appears Mr.Kookaburra failed to install a pressure regular after the timer as well as his long litany of mistakes and outright failures to follow explicit instructions.



Know water is getting to strawberries in gutters now , too bad the fittings at before the globe valve are leaky now , and I don't have any plumber's teflon sealing tape on hand , and the gardener didn't have any in her box of tricks in the back of her 4x4 ute.
So another job for plumber ( too risky going to h/ware shop with so much Delta & Omicron in my LGA and my local suburbs ). Can wait for for plumber who is prebooked here on 10 Jan 2022.

One of my blueberry plants , one of my natal plumbs and one of my finger limes has died , of neglect and smothered by lucerne .


Swapped out the Pope snap on tap and hose fittings for Hoselink h/duty 1/2" bayonet connection hose and tap fittings.

can still attach the vary spray trigger gun style nozzle ( which is snap on ) using this adapter


Added another 2 x 60L bags of eucymulch to the jumbo front bed .
Moved the planter tower off the patio into backyard where it's sunnier , the patio is too shady for the "new" 8 strawberry plants planted to replace the ones that were in it's top 2 tiers which all died.
The newer blueberry and newer raspberry plants w/ nasturtions companion plants in their 2 pots have gone down the back to a sunnier spot and.
The Tower and 2 "new plots" have been added to the L shaped bed's irrigation system.

So now only need to water by hose of watering can the few pots on the front patio and the 6m x 1.5m natives bed.

NEXT JOB = FIX / MOD 20mm 1 in/ 4 out MANIFOLD

Next job = plumber to do mod to 20mm hi pressure PVC 4 outlet manifold to fix issue shown below :

Have swapped out both back timers, but left the NORTH timer disconnected from the manifold w/ a plastic bag over open end to keep little critters out of the open ended pipe.

The fix / mod needed
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BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Finally had the plumber here today to make the mods to the PVC 1-IN / 4-OUT manifold .... ready to give serious consideration to putting some more herbs , greens , tomatos and root vegs into 2 of the smaller 3m x 1.5m beds with dripper tube and weeper tube depending veg plant / seed spacing to get the beds productive .

Had him install a 4th external tap in the backyard, this new one is next to back door in easy reach of the back landing . Will be handy when I eventually get that big off ground deck built.... ( thinking ahead ) will be handy for lazy watering of the strawberries and L shaped bed too.

... looking like this Omicron TSUSAMI in QLD, NSW, Vic & SA is going to get a lot bigger (talk of 1/2 the population being infected before we're out of the woods w/ Delta & Omicron here , positivities are getting very close to this already here in NSW)
Will mean
>> lots of farmers and farm workers / pickers will be forced into ISO or become too sick to work
>> abattoir & meat packing plant workers will be forced into ISO or become too sick to work
>> lots of truck drivers will be forced into ISO or become too sick to work ( farm to factory / distn centre to supermarket chain is collapsing AGAIN )
>> lots of supermarket packers and face to face staff will be forced into ISO or become too sick to work ( AGAIN )
==> already hard to find staples like chicken ( and chicken pieces to cook .... KFC is talking shutting down due to sick staff and lack of chicken pieces
==> COLES and WOOLWORTHs are again having empty shelves and empty freezers and very poorly stocked chillers and are imposing rationing of "popular" staples.

I have the seeds , and all the irrigation gear .... will see about getting some veg and herb seedlings ( locally .... but I don't think there will be much left to buy locally ).
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BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
PS : the water skinks, rainbow skinks, water dragons ,jacky dragons , birds, butterflies and bees are loving my 3 big natives beds .... all the rain and now warm weather is making all my surviving tubestocks grow like crazing and lots of flowers on the ground covers.


BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
The parsley plants survived , and the tomatoes too , even getting some small roma tomatoes developing .
tomato & parsley pot 1

tomato & parsley pot 2

The ground covers ( sandfire plants ) are growing great in the L shaped bed and the native shrubs are looking good.


Thrubs in the 6m x 1.5m natives feature bed are doing well.

My three 3m x 1.5m raised beds have been taken over by couch grass , trying some vinegar & cloves based herbicide sprayon NATURES WAY YATES 1L ORGANIC WEEDSPRAY stuff ( see if this will kill off the couch grass ) , been 2 weeks and it still looks very green ( been lots of rain ) . Bought two bottles of the stuff - great on other weeds ( killed them overnight ) but the cooch grass not a lot of brown dead grass created .
Active ingredients
40.4g/L Acetic Acid
40.4g/L Clove Oil
doesn't contain Glyphosate

Lower small bed : some of couch is browning off , this bed not as over grown with couch grass as other two.

Middle and top small beds : some browning off of couch grass but really overgrown ( been fallow for nearly 18 months since we filled it with soil and mulched with sugarcane mulch ).

Top small bed :

Think it's a FAIL.

I don't want to use anything containing glyphosate as we'll be growing herbs and veg and berry plants in these beds.

Gardening Lady has suggested SLASHER
Active ingradient
525g/L Nonanoic Acid
Nonanoic acid is also known as pelargonic acid and is derived from plant oils.

She says it works against a treat against couch grass and leaves no residue in the soil.
Might try it before smothering the beds with black plastic sheets to deny the grass light and to kill off the couch grass.

If Slasher doesn't work , then looks like we'll be placing a HD black plastic sheet over these beds to kill off the couch grass over winter ( I don't fancy removing live couch by hand ). , then when the couch grass in the beds is all dead will remove roots and remulch in prep for NEXT spring.

Lucerne keeps sprouting in the berry pots .... I'll never us lucerne mulch again ....


BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Maybe look into torching it? Get a large propane torch and burn the weeds. You don't actually need to catch them on fire and burn them to ash, exposing them to high heat is enough to damage their cell walls and they will eventually die off. Or you can burn them to a crisp lol.

At the least... it's fun.. 🤷‍♂️

PS sorry that picture is so big lol.



BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Did consider that option but we're under total fire bans here in Lake Macquarie ---- no exposed flames permitted . Just checked and the there is still a Total Fire Ban in force , hasn't been lifted despite all the rain this week ( we have areas under flood all along the east coast of NSW ).

I have also discovered that couch grass is "fireproof", all the flame Burning couch grass has little effect on controlling the grass runners, gardener says it's unwise to try burning the couch as the grass dries out, she tells me couch grass (Elymus repens) is a stealthy invader that creeps underground through tough, wiry rhizomes resprout almost immediately.
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BD.org Sicko
Original Poster
Have a plan to deal with the jungle of couch grass in the three fallow raised beds.

Plan of action for when the rain stops ---- we're copping a super wet monsoonal event here ( raining every day and overnight , lots of areas around us are in severe flood ).
1) use whipper - snipper to cut back the wild overgrown couch grass inside the three beds to stubble and expose the the nodes on the underground rhizomes and on ground stolons. This will considerably reduce the surface area of couchgrass (leaves) so less herbicide will be necessary .
2) spray the cut back couchgrass stubble with SLASHER
3) allow SLASHER to kill off the clouchgrass roots, rhizomes and stolons ( 2 or 3 weeks maybe ??)
4) remove dead couch grass roots , rhizomes and stolons, cover beds with thick black plastic sheet ontop to exclude weeds and discourage any surviving couchgrass re-establishing ( for 2 months )
5) in June, worm bomb again , add nutrients and fertilizer if needed ( I'll ask gardener lady for advise on this ) , remulch with fresh sugarcane mulch
6) in July/ August organise tubestock herbs and sow veg seeds for spring / summer .
7) finalise irrigation in three smaller beds ( on surface weeper or dripper tube system )

grass parts

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