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Beginnings of the Privacy Plantings

07 Jan 2019
Clear 33°C / 91°F

When I pruned the Black Mulberry in June 2017 I stuck the prunings into a pot under the tap at the back of the house. If the hoses or tap adaptors leak when the tap timer turns on, they water the pot below, so this is an easy way to raise a few extra plants and not waste water. It is not time consuming and requires no input or effort from me. I can sit the pot there, stick in whatever cuttings come to hand and see what mother nature does.

Of the Black Mulberry prunings that I haphazardly stuck into the pot, one took root and grew. I almost forgot it was there, but as I’ve been looking at plantings to provide privacy and some relief from the blistering western sun, particularly in summer, I realised, after a little research, that the mulberry could serve that purpose. It would cost me nothing to propagate cuttings as the original tree is putting on lots of growth. It will cast dappled shade in summer, and if it ever becomes deciduous, it will allow some light through in winter -, although I have never seen the tree lose it leaves in our warm winters. Any fallen leaves can be used for mulch, it will attract birds to the garden for its fruit, and it will feed us as well.

So this afternoon, when the weather had cooled a little, very little in this tropical climate but enough to make it possible to work outdoors in the late afternoon without suffering heat exhaustion, I grabbed my trusty garden tools, watering can, and the potted cutting and headed to the Western Fence Creek garden. There, with a little effort and ingenuity, I loosened the hard clay soil after thoroughly soaking it, and managaged to dig a small planting hole for the mulberry. The pot it was in was shallow so fortunately I did not need a large hole. I backfilled the soil around the newly planted mulberry, firmed it down, raked cut grass clippings around it as mulch, keeping a small gap around the trunk, then watered it thoroughly into place.

I realised the best order of operations for planting out the garden is to take cuttings, allow time for them to develop, then as I no longer have my endless supply of rainforest soil thanks to the thougtlessness of Qld Rail, plan to transplant after I have mowed the grass, that way at least I have a ready supply of mulch sitting on the surface ready to be raked into place where ever needed. After emptying the pot, I filled it with grass clippings, mixed in a handful of garden soil and returned it to its position under the tap ready for any other cuttings that may come to hand during my garden wanderings.

A couple more cuttings, planted out along the back fence should supply sufficient privacy and adequate shade once growth gets under way. The mulberries are fast growers here, which is what I need to quickly establish shade and privacy along the back fence. They also won’t cost me anything but a little time and effort, are easily replaced if they should die, and provide yet another source of food for the garden. I think that’s a win-win situation. They are also well within the boundary of my property so no one can cut them down.


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