The last few years have been pretty wet for us and two of the four veggie gardens that I created are not raised so the wet conditions have made growing some things challenging.
The two non raised garden beds have timber sleepers for edging so I have been trying to raise the soil level by introducing lots of compost and organic matter but it takes a lot to raise the soil level of the 16 sq metres of each garden bed. There was the option of buying soil but not only is that an expensive option but you can never be sure what you might be introducing to your garden.
So I am trialing another method using bales of sugar cane mulch, which is fairly cheap to purchase here in Queensland.
What I have done is dug a channel the length of two bales end to end and put the bales on their side so that they were 1/3 below the original soil level and 2/3 above. Then I have left a gap of 50 cm and repeated the process twice more till I had 3 rows of 2 bales running parallel to each other. Then I dug another trench across the gap of each 50cm space on the downhill side (there is not much fall at all really) and placed another bale in each of these.
So now I have a big W shape and all of the soil that I dug out of the trenches was put back in between the bales and mounded against them on the two sides and the top. The soil was full of worms and I was not happy to have to disturb them but hopefully this little experiment of mine will benefit us all.
Increased soil temperature as the bales will act as a heat source as they break down.
The above soil level height will provide some wind protection for young seedlings.
The worms setting up home and turning them into soil for me.
Being able to plant directly into them in the future.
Extra organic matter for my soil.
Better soil structure.
Because I have two garden beds side by side and only one of them has the bale structure in it I will be able to measure the soil temperature and test to see if there is any difference. I'll possibly forget to do it but hey i can if I want to.
Do you have any experiments happening at your place?