The Permachar Kitchen Garden (PKG) trial aims to establish what is the best growing medium for 12 of the most popular culinary and medicinal herbs in the Mediterranean climate. I have used HDPE barrels cut in half lengthwise. I have used biochar 'aquifers' up the level of a drain in the base of the barrels. Irrigation is standardised. I have used a control trial of loam/compost/gypsum and created four additional trials with different 'Permafert' recipes:
2-loam/compost/gypsum/biochar/blood and bone
3-loam/compost/gypsum/biochar/blood and bone/liquid kelp
4-loam/compost/gypsum/biochar/blood and bone/liquid kelp/worm oils
5-loam/compost/gypsum/biochar/blood and bone/liquid kelp/worm oils/Mycorrhizal fungi spores
I have built irrigation using standard 19mm polypipe for the main conduits and Netafim miniscape (non-pressure regulated) for the interconnectors lengthwise along the rows. I have added an 'unpowered Measured Irrigation controller' to the system which can match irrigation amount to rainfall and evaporation (very cool). I've tested the controller and it works like a treat! I've added hose clamps to the tap and controller so hopefully no blow outs. I've tested that the float opens and closes the magnetic valve - all good!
|Mediterranean plant guild|
|Oregano - Greek||Origanum spp.||30|
|Parsley – flat/Italian||Petroselinum crispum||30|
|Sage – common||Salvia officinalis||15|
|Sage – bergartton||Salvia officinalis||15|
|Thyme – Turkey/Westmoreland||Thymus serpyllum ‘Westmoreland’||15|
|Thyme - Lemon||Thymus vulgaris||15|
|Asian and misc|
|Basil – thai||Osimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora||30|
|Basil – sweet||Osimum basilicum||30|
|Chilli – halepeno||Capsicum annuum||15|
|Chilli – caysan||Capsicum annuum||15|
|Chives - Plain||Allium schoenoprasum||15|
|Lemon balm||Melissa officinalus||15|
|In bw rows:|
|Flowers – in between the rows – violas etc||?|
Samples of biochar, control and Permafert mixes will be sent to the Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) at Southern Cross University (SCU) before and after the trial (12 months later).
I can make a plant/Permafert matrix after 1 year that explains which plants preferred which control/Permafert mix. I can then begin commercial herb production for the most popular culinary/medicinal herbs in the Barossa Valley restaurants OR if a restaurant then wants to install its own PKG, I can do that based on what I have learned from this experiment.