Homestead Project: Urbanite Planter Bed

In between rainstorms, I’ve been working on a new project on the homestead: an urbanite planter bed. stacked urbanite wall

This has been a high priority project because this is where I’ve planned for kiwis to be planted. Fuzzy kiwis take about a billion years before they start producing fruit (ok, 5-9- basically a billion), so I wanted to get them as soon as possible. We got the arbor for the female kiwi built when we redid the chicken pasture last year, but just now started on the planter bed.

To prep the bed area, first I weeded out Bremuda grass by hand, then laid a thick layer of cardboard for further weed suppression. Under the area where the concrete was going, I used strips of cotton sheets, to act as further weed barrier and prevent the concrete from cutting up the cardboard (and giving the Bermuda an easy way in). Then, I pieced together chunks of concrete and the occasional rock I’ve hauled home from various adventures, to stack a perimeter wall about 1′ high. The bed isn’t completed, as I first need to MOVE the pile of concrete I’ve been pulling from (placement fail!!) but I’ve backfilled the area that’s created with purchased well-draining soil.drystacking the bedfilling the bedOnce we had the planting area prepped, we went kiwi shopping! In the pouring rain, we picked out the pair of fuzzy kiwis (you need both a male and female for fruit) and managed to load the tall vines into my Civic. They rode shotgun while Matt sat in the back. We planted the female fuzzy kiwi alongside the arbor, using twine to support the branches until it can twine itself. She’s “Vincent” variety, and her mate “Tomuri” will get planted on the other side of the bed to trellis along the fence. buying kiwiskiwis ride shotgun

We also planted one of our potted pomegranate trees into the bed, a Kashmir, and I’ve planted some prostate rosemary to trail down the rock front. I have plans for other plantings, including a handful of strawberries, additional herbs, and pollinator friendly flowering perennials. pomegranate kiwi urbanite bed

Why did we use urbanite, instead of imported stone? There are several reasons, the main being it was free. Last June, we broke up our concrete ‘patio’, yielding me with giant piles of urbanite. You can read about that project here. Reusing materials is an important aspect of ecological gardening- no new materials needed to be mined or transported, reducing the environmental impact of my garden. I also chose to use the urbanite because the stacked concrete and stone will create habitat for lizards and other invertebrates. It’s a multi-use function to create a usable space and a wildlife habitat. stacked rocks for habitat home

The bed still needs to be finished, but I’m glad one more aspect of the homestead has moved from “planning” to “in process!”reach for the sky

How are your spring projects coming?

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10 thoughts on “Homestead Project: Urbanite Planter Bed

  1. Is having two different verities of kiwi not going to be an issue?

    Good luck with this. I’d like to grow kiwi’s but our climate is really not suited. I will have to stick to Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums and, oh yeah… Walnuts. >.>

    B-)

    1. They are both the same species, Actinidia chinensis, but the male and female are just different named varieties. This is the pair that was recommended by the breeder. I think a male hardy kiwi will also pollinate a fuzzy.

      1. They are very expensive here, too! I don’t think there is much commercial growing, but they do well in this region. I think the fact you have to wait forever after planting discourages most people.

  2. Kiwis are on my list of plants I want to grow. I had no idea that they take so long to produce.

    I have a massive concrete patio area, probably close to 1500 square feet of concrete. I started to break it up and use it to make walls in my yard too. It is a good way to make walls and save a bit of money.

  3. That looks marvelous! It’ll be a veritable fruit basket when everything’s up and producing.
    Another spring over here with limited projects due to growing babies. My husband has been kind enough to fill my three new beds with yards of compost and leaves and such for the tomatoes this year though.

  4. We are thinking of making something similar with the broken pieces of concrete that we pulled out of our backyard. I feel more confident about the process now that I’ve seen an example. I like your wooden trellis too.

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