hexagonal preparation 1

Preparing ground to welcome our six bench beehives

The Western side of Victoria Park will become base camp for the six bench beehives that are the central focus of the public sculpture The Park. We are creating a Pasture Painting in the shape of a Hexagonal over which these six hives will be placed. We are lucky as the ground under this hexagonal form is topsoil that was recently placed here as part of the tunnel development. Our preparation for this Pasture Painting includes getting our chemical free weed control partners Biothermal to hot water spray the space inside the hexagonal. This process uses water at a consistent temperature of 98 degrees to instantly kill the plants cells in the same way that a intensive burn effects our skin. This has a sweet smell a bit like boiling spinach. The sun assists with the dehydration process that follows which transforms the green space into a brown space within hours. Microbiology within cm of the surface is effected but there is no residual chemicals left in the space at all and no flight bound creatures need worry about any chemical particles which will harm them. We will inoculate this space with microbiology as we scatter seeds using Nutri-Life Network-AMF with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Trichoderma from Franko Solutions in Silverdale. We will also use BioHome Garden a microbiological liquid concentrate supplied by Bio Organic Solutions Ltd several times in the first couple of weeks to help support our seedlings.

Mycorrhizal fungi- microorganisms to help plants grow

Microorganisms’ are many different types of fungi and bacteria that you want to live in your soil. They process the nutrients that are locked away in things like leaves, twigs and cow poo and turn them back into their mineral forms so that plants can eat them.  One microorganism called mycorrhizal fungi does so much more than that. This fungi attaches itself to plant roots so the plant looks like it has a root hair extension. With these longer roots the plant can collect so many more minerals to eat, and store lots of water. Mycorrhizal fungi also produces enzymes to help make the plant healthy. 90% of mycorrhizal fungi have been killed by chemicals so to get them back you need to inoculate for them. Fortunately this is pretty easy to do. We are re introducing this fungi along with Trichoderma back into our soil with Nutri-Life Network AMF supplied to us by Franko Solutions in Sliverdale at the same time we sow our seeds. These microorganisms will help build humus, increase the plants roots zone, boost phosphate and zinc availability, lift the levels of calcium in the plant, help the plant be more resilient, and increase the plants nitrogen fixing capacity.

makethepark-Lucerne

What does nitrogen-fixing mean?

While some of our favorite pasture plants produce food for bees they also fix nitrogen in the soil. By working with a bacteria present in the soil they are able to take nitrogen that is floating around in the air and store it into nodules on their roots. When these plants die and compost back into the ground this nitrogen is then released into the soil for the surrounding plants to consume in a form that they can digest. This is really useful as it is really hard to get nitrogen into the soil in a form that plants can eat and plants need lots of nitrogen. Nitrogen fixing plants you can grow include alfalfa, lupins, beans, clover, peas, peanuts, buckwheat, mustard, vetch and lucerne.

preparing ground small res

Preparing ground

Before scattering any seeds we need to make sure our ground is good enough to grow pasture plants.

Firstly we want to get rid of the competing grass without the using any chemicals which harm microorganisms and insects. So we will use a new hot-water spray system. Then we will focus on reintroducing microorganism communities back into the spaces we intend to create our pasture paintings on. Microorganisms will help our plants grow. We have inoculated all the ground where we have scattered seed with Nutri-Life Network- AMF. This microorganism blend reintroduces Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, and Trichoderma back into the soil as quickly as possible to help our plants have strong healthy root systems.