This page shows the tools we use to maintain Ellura Sanctuary
|We bought a garden hoe for about $10.
It was too wide (too much soil disturbance) and weak (because we use it in rock), so I narrowed it (to 90mm wide) with a grinder (cutting wheel) and welded a brace on it.
I also carry around a file in my pocket to keep it sharp (but keep the corners rounded). Being sharp cuts the plant more easily and so reduced soil disturbance. The rounded corners stops the hoe digging in so much, if it's on a slight angle, and again reduces soil disturbance.|
|We needed to be able to take the spray tank into the reserve (off the tracks). Even with the 100m hose, we couldn't get to all our weed sites. So we invested $800 in this old Subaru 4wd. It came with a 2" lift kit, which helps get over low bushes without damaging them, and near new mud tires to stop us getting bogged. Tightest turning circle of any 4wd out there, perfect for steering around trees & bushes to get to the weeds.|
NB: 4wd mode will rip up the ground around corners. We only use 2wd mode, and haven't required the 4wd mode to get out of trouble ..... yet
Sprayer in Ruby, with 100m hose |An incredible gift from our friends; 100l spray tank. I replaced the 30m heavy garden hose with a 6mm light weight 100m hose & reel for $250. Maries goes through about 50l herbicide a day, leaves the car overnight, walking back to the camp site, then finishes off the next day and drives back to get a refill for the following week|
|With Marie off doing larger areas of wild sage in Ruby, I converted my old wheelbarrow into a spray unit to cover the remaining onion weed.|
- $200 55l Silvan sprayer
- $130 2 x No puncture tyres
- $100 Wheelbarrow
- $60 A silvan spray long spray wand
- $40 AGM battery
- $20 20m x 6mm Hose
- $15 25mm Axle and moved it back 50mm (made a huge improvment to the weight on the handles)
- $10 Hose Reel
- $5  Made a removable to hitch that takes 10 sec to hitch or unhitch$580 All up, ignoring all the stuff that didn't work! It works very well for spot spraying anywhere on Ellura. I drive on the tack to the nearest point and then wheelbarrow to the weeds. With the two wheels I can even push it one handed.
|Weed Sprayer: Hand Weeding|
|This is what we now use to kill our onion weed now. A $2 1/2 litre spray bottle of pure herbicide (with die), a snap knife and an old feed bag to collect any seed pods. Cut off the onion weed at ground level and spray a tiny squirt onto the cut. It works perfectly. From 3 months to do our large 3 acre patch 4 years ago, we did the whole area in 3 hours. The reason being, they are so small now it's really easy to cut them with the knife. In the past they'd take a lot of work to cut.|
The shovels haven't been used for a couple of years now.
2 Shovels, angle & flat ends Marie's Angled End, front Brett's Angled End, front
|These started out as $10 shovels that I modified to suite spot weeding with minimal soil disturbance. I made 2 types:|
One was just cut to a narrow, flat end. While useful, it's not strong enough and the narrow end kept breaking off (hence I welded a backing plate on). But we find it very useful for light soils (ie sandy), small weeds or rocky ground where we just cut the weed off rather than dig it out.
With the 2nd type, I cut the end off the shovel and welded a piece of thin angle iron to the back. Mine's longer than Marie's for the bigger jobs, so has extra support. (Primarily I used it to go deeper for Mignonette, but we don't have this at Ellura). Marie also finds the shorter one easier to use. The angle iron is probably a bit too light, and can bend if not used with care. But this makes it much lighter for carrying, and is much easier to push into hard ground. Notice Marie's is more tapered; making it easier to push in but more fragile.
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