Tank Gardens

Page 87 of Eat Your Garden

Tank gardens come in all shapes and sizes and are a convenient way of making a raised garden bed. The methodology below will apply just as well to any raised garden bed you construct.

Tank gardens are an easy way of containing a garden and keeping the edges neat (400mm high). A higher one (820mm) is great for people with disabilities or who are uncomfortable with bending.  Bear in mind that a garden 820mm high is going to use at least twice as many resources to fill it as a 400mm one.

Tanks are also good for keeping out hares, dogs, bandicoots and even bush turkeys (if netted).

The best system is to make a huge compost in your tank, but that is going to take a lot of resources and a lot of time, so perhaps you would prefer the following method. Place your tank on the ground and dig the edges in about 5cm so that they are secure.

1. Drainage layer. For a 400mm tank you will just need a thin layer on the base, for a taller tank you will need to fill 1/2 of the tank with either palm tree trunks cut into sections, wattle branches, any large prunings from your property, or any rubble that you have access to such as concrete, bricks or rocks. Make sure any rubble is free of obvious toxins such as oil. Then pour some crusher dust on top to fill the gaps. In the long term the crusher dust provides minerals to your plants.

2. Cover rubble with a weed mat, I prefer a weed gunnel.

3. Add all, or some of the following; grass clippings, cow, horse or chicken manures, and mushroom compost.  The more variety the better 30cm.

                                                4. Add leaves (not gum leaves) 15cm thick.

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