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Brickwork practice in garden - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Brickwork practice in garden

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  • Brickwork practice in garden

    So we're getting geared up to start our oven project, at last!

    Over Memorial Day weekend, My brother-in-law and I poured concrete. Lots of it. It seemed like alot, anyway! Now that it is poured, I'm taking a pause in the oven and redirecting efforts to the adjoining garden, with its raised brick beds. This should give me a bit of practice with masonry before starting the oven!
    Attached Files
    -jamie

    My oven build is finally complete!

  • #2
    Re: Brickwork practice in garden

    As it's getting later and later in the year, and this project has taken longer to get off the ground than we hoped, I've shifted gears to the garden. I figure this way we can get something into the ground that will actually grow by fall, and by the time I get started on the oven I might actually know a thing or two about bricks!
    Attached Files
    -jamie

    My oven build is finally complete!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Brickwork practice in garden

      A few more shots of the yard... things are really moving now (in much the way glaciers can be said to be really moving)...

      also, a picture of the little orange tree in the yard that I thought was nice.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by cynon767; 06-05-2009, 07:09 PM.
      -jamie

      My oven build is finally complete!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Brickwork practice in garden

        Soon, those blocks on the straight side of the front bed will become the foundation for a bench, and the beds will be filled with dirt and planted. The Sacramento Valley is one of the worlds best tomato growing climates, so I'm looking forward to trying my hand at growing San Marzano tomatoes!
        -jamie

        My oven build is finally complete!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Brickwork practice in garden

          Getting the hang of using the brickset to cut the angled corners on the rounded bed was a bit of a trick, but in the end wasn't too hard. The biggest difficulty came from the fact that I was using cored bricks, which had a tendency to split along the cell walls if I wasn't careful. With a bit of practice, though, I was able to get a relatively presentable (if rather rustic) angled corner.
          Attached Files
          -jamie

          My oven build is finally complete!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Brickwork practice in garden

            After weeks of fighting a grueling war of attrition with the weeds and vines that have colonized our yard, we've decided to give the garden a pass for the summer and concentrate on making sure that the invaders are fully eradicated before proceeding on to enriching the soil with compost and planting a garden.

            Someone decided, once upon a time, to make the yard lush with hanging vines and foliage, so they planted an unholy combination of Virginia creeper, trumpet vine, and ivy. It's like Day of the Triffids out there. We have been digging out the extensive network of roots, section by section, for a couple of months now. It's a tedious and arduous experiment in both patience and endurance. Find a new shoot of fast-growing vine, dig up the area and remove the roots, wait a couple of days until the next section of roots sends up shoots, repeat...

            We were trying to do without toxic weed-killer, as this is intended to be a vegetable garden, but after researching this and working piecemeal for this long, we've become a little more flexible. Hence we're holding off on the garden. I've read that with vines this tenacious, even high-potency poisons have trouble, since the root networks are so extensive and store so much energy. Plus, some of the poisons used for brush control stay in the soil longer than plain glyphosate (roundup). So, following advice from some of the gardening forums, rather than get a more toxic spray, I got the glyphosate concentrate and simply brushed it onto the leaves and new growth of the vines. I am hoping that this combined strategy of chemical and conventional attack will lead to victory.

            Until then, I've turned my construction attention back to the oven. The stand is almost finished, and when we do the concrete slab for the hearth, we'll do the bench along the center bed as well.
            -jamie

            My oven build is finally complete!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Brickwork practice in garden

              Jamie, the garden is an awesome idea! How thick & wide did you make the cement foundation for the garden walls?
              Shay - Centerville, MN

              My Outdoor Kitchen/Pompeii WFO Build...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                Following instructions from various gardening and masonry sites, I made the foundations about 8" deep and about 2" wider than the brick on each side, for about an 8"x8" trench, with lightweight rebar to keep the foundation stable under the brick.

                Eventually, the beds will be filled with a compost/topsoil blend, mixed with the local dirt, which should provide a pretty fertile ground for the garden. They're about 18" deep, and with some vermiculite mixed in to maintain the loose consistency, should provide a great medium for vegetables.
                -jamie

                My oven build is finally complete!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                  Are you going to put a cap on the tops of the walls?
                  Shay - Centerville, MN

                  My Outdoor Kitchen/Pompeii WFO Build...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                    Originally posted by blacknoir View Post
                    Are you going to put a cap on the tops of the walls?
                    yes, definitely. I have not decided on brick yet; I have been hoping to find another deal like the one I got on the jumbo cored bricks I made the walls with. They were on clearance for $40 for the pallet of 400. 10 cents a brick? not gonna argue, even if I have to work a bit to make them fit!

                    Now if I can find something that either matches closely enough for a reasonable price, I'll use that; alternately, I'll look for a contrasting brick for visual effect.
                    -jamie

                    My oven build is finally complete!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                      Along with the oven progress, I've gotten the garden bed walls mostly sorted out. No dirt or plants yet; I'm still fighting off the invasion of the triffids before I do that.
                      Attached Files
                      -jamie

                      My oven build is finally complete!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                        Hey Jamie,
                        Lookin good so far, Nice Job See if this helps you Spray Weeds With Vinegar? / May 15, 2002 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service ts about killing weeds and plants with vinegar If it works, Im sure you can water enough to make the residual vinegar go away before you plant...
                        Nice work,, keep going,,,
                        Mark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                          For the ordinary weeds, that might work; once the garden is planted, I'll definitely give it a try. For the trumpet vines, though, not so much. I'm caught in a bit of a bind, since I want to use the garden for vegetables and don't want to use any too-aggressive long-lingering poison. Initially I tried to go poison-free and just dig up the roots, but they are extensively branching, and when one section is dug up it resprouts from a new node. I've been using roundup, since that does not stay in the soil, but it is difficult. Because the vines store so much energy in their roots, it's more of an ongoing campaign than a single battle; they keep sending up new shoots all over the yard. I've dug up as much of the network of roots as I could, but they're not gone yet. So, I poison new shoots and wait for that to work its way back to the root... lather, rinse, repeat...
                          -jamie

                          My oven build is finally complete!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                            just one more thought,, How about one of those weed burners they sell at harbor freight that hooks up to a propane tank

                            Mark

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Brickwork practice in garden

                              My yard is a little small for that. At this point, if you didn't know they were there below the surface, you wouldn't notice them at all. But they're there...

                              Before long, I'm gonna have nightmares of them coming through the walls...
                              -jamie

                              My oven build is finally complete!

                              Comment

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