I wanted to make the most of the laneway that runs down the east side of the property. The laneway is regularly poisoned by the local council with Roundup, so using runoff water from there needs to take that into consideration. Roundup, produced by the company Monsanto, is one of the most commonly used herbicides on the market. It has falsely been claimed as 'safe' by the company, and has never been submitted for testing by the EPA.
Thankfully, the council workers began poisoning the laneway up from my property, as they could see that I was growing plants nearby. Still, I'd prefer if they would mow the laneway instead. I spoke to the workers about maintaining the laneway around my property myself, so to avoid direct contamination. They were fine with that, so long as I kept the grass / weeds down.
Following on from my keeping water out of the cellar post, I want to ensure that water runs away from, and not into the cellar. I experimented with some small earthworks around the cellar that diverted water to a channel in which two kiwis were planted, but found that it was too close and water seeped in through the stairwell wall.
|Small channel to divert water away from the cellar to kiwi plants nearby|
Galvanised iron poles were held vertically using clamps before being concreted into the ground. Two sheets of reo mesh (6m x 2.4m high) was screwed straight onto the poles, while a corrugated iron fence was used for the section beyond the workshop.
|Clamping the poles so that they remain vertical during the concrete pour|
A trench was dug in the laneway along the boundary for the length of the trellis. It acts as a stepped swale, with small walls built along it resulting in a section needing to overflow before the water can continue. This gives any water collected the opportunity to soak in rather than run away. The trench is mounded on the laneway side to prevent any excess or contaminated water entering from the laneway.
After some big rains water again seeped into the cellar. While pumping the water out we tested the stepped swale and found that water was seeping in through gaps in the mortar, helping identify which areas need attention.
|Corrugated iron fixed to the north end of the fence, Boysenberries planted along trellis near workshop|
|Earthworks to divert water away from the cellar entrance|
|Boysenberries planted in front of the cellar / tankstand, with kiwis and a grape planted along the side|
|Stepped swale being tested out with water being pumped out of cellar after big rains|
|Water seeping back into cellar after swales were filled, helping to identify where the problems lie|