Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do Birdies Raised Garden Beds work?

This is steel raised garden bed from Birdie's Garden Products set out in the 3.5m x 0.9m configuration.
Having been in place for 18 months the structure remains sound bar a slight sagging on the sides. The bottom half of this bed was filled with coarse sand to aid drainage, the top with a mixture of rich soil, cow manure, charcoal and sugar cane mulch. Growing from left to right above - pumpkins (to be transplanted), soy bean, Japanese Daikon, and another pumpkin we will leave and place and allow to run the length of the fence behind.

No chemical fertilisers have been employed, only occasional watering with a capful of organic liquid fertiliser and seasonal replenishment of manure and sugarcane mulch. With the daikon attracting a few pests to the bed, a plastic container of beer is occasionally hidden between the plants to lure snails to their doom.

OZITO Demolition Breaker (Rotary Hammer Drill)

Like most budget priced power tools, the Ozito Demolition Breaker (rotary hammer drill) is probably not the ideal choice for those who need to jack-hammer their way through a reinforced concrete wall or floor. In the situation pictured above however, it proved itself to be absolutely ideal.

The problem: removal of a galvanised metal clothesline pole which had been set in concrete at the edge of a flower bed. The top left of the image shows the hole after the cement plug was broken up, allowing it to be removed in larger chunks which were then shattered into fist sized pieces which could be easily disposed of. The concrete base, partly due to its weight and shape, and partly due to surrounding tree roots, could not be lifted out of the hole. Repeated strikes from a 7 pound sledge hammer and 6 foot pry bar (and half an hour of heavy work) did little to challenge the concrete's integrity. 10 minutes with the rotary hammer drill and pencil point bit in contrast had the job completed with nothing left to do but to clean up the pulverised concrete and back-filling the hole.

The interesting thing about using these tools on solid concrete (as opposed to say chipping tiles using a chisel pointed bit) is that initially it seems that the repeated blows of the hammer action are having no effect on the concrete. A little patience and eye for likely weak spots (such as between the concrete and steel post) helps, and soon the concrete is giving way as though you are cutting through chalk.