Down here in New Orleans we have B-E-A-U-TIFUL trees, especially Live Oak Trees! However, we also have the most wonderful and invassive species of insects... the Termite!!
These woodsy-carnivours can burrow through your house, you wood projects... and yes... your most prized Live Oak. While they do serve a very important part in nature.... They, how do I put this lightly, SUCK! when they swarm....
...Moving On... My neighbor had a beautiful Oak he HAD to cut down due to termite damage, most of the wood was usuable for FIRE!! but I saw a special piece that was just going to be left to rot in the yard....
And I Said...
"Self...yes?.. don't we have a garden that needs some demension? Why yes we do...Lets take this Superb specimen and do some good...Ok, let make a planter!..Great Idea!.... you are always coming up with superb ideas...aww... thank you self...no no no... thank you.."
I'll spare you the rest....
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Step 1: Preparing Your O-So-Nice Oak Planter
So, you have rolled, manuevered, struggled this heavy beast into place...NOW WHAT?
Clean out your hole:
- The termites ravaged the interior, while the debris makes for great fertilizer, we need to clear out what wood chomping carnivores may still be around, if not, they may find your way into your garden or worse your house!
- Knife (Iused a Linoleum Knife, the hook helps)
- Long Chisel or Long Sharp Object (a Crowbar will work as well)
- Assess the damage and plan your attack
- Lay the stump on its side and begin to chip away the debris , allowing it to fall in a neat little pile
- Use your knife, hatchet, chisel etc, to chip and pull away all debris on this side.... NOW FLIP!
- Once flipped, either on its side vertically or laying back flat, continueto chip away all the eaten tree debris.... you WILL find termites.... so just make sure you find the bulk of them and rid the stump of its enemy!
Time for placement and permanant HOME!
Step 2: Roll-Roll-Roll You Stump, Struggle As You Will....!
I do ALL of the gardening on my own... so I had to struggle and grunt my stump to its final glorious place!
Enough Pity Party...
- Dig a shallow (Rouhly 6 to 8 Inches Deep) hole slightly larger than the diameter and shape of the Stump
- Level the Ground, this does not HAVE to be perfect
- Flip the stump into the hole and Grnut and wiggle it in place until you are satisfied (hehe) , with its placement
The heavy lefting is finished at this point, Now shavel, rake, will, wish, hope, the surrounding dirt against the stump.
Step 3: KILL ALL THE BUGS!!!
THIS STEP IS TOTALLY OPTIONAL... or you can go fully NON-Pesticide
I decided I wanted to kill all the nasty Termites. I usually spray for mosquitos (another problem down here) and this stuff works GREAT for termites AND Mosquitos...Bifen XTS. This is very potent stuff... make sure you know what you are getting into.
- Using a Yard/Garden sprayer with the recommended mixture ratios according to the company, spray the base AND the entire interior of the stump. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies you decided NOT to cut out.
***FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE WONDERING or are going to make remarks about pesticide getting into the plants, herbs, etc....... can it happen? Yes. Will it affect me or my loved ones? Not anymore than all the other chemicals we ALL already ingest. - I do not say these things niavely or without cuation... I have done my research, I am comfortable with this choice... If its not for you, USE ANOTHER METHOD (that I have hyperlinked above). Cheers.
Step 4: Fill'er UP!
Time to Stuff this baby full of Nutritious Dirt.
I like to use a combination of 3 parts Manure to 2 parts Top Soil and 2 Parts Composte. I have had alot of luck with HapiGro products and they are very inexpensive...
What ever you decide to go with.... having a helper (in my case... my dobie) makes things all that much better.
1) I filled the bottom with a few layers of Newspaper to deter weeds.
2) Mixed the 3 to 2 to 2 parts as mentioned above.
3) I had some wood chips, less the wood-chewers, so i chucked them in the hole... it cant hurt!
4) Remember that dirt cocktail?....pour it in!
And thank your helper for all their hard work.
Step 5: Added Planting Balcony?!
When i was digging out the termite torn debris... This little 'balcony' came to light .... i figured i should do something fun...
1) Chicken wire
2) Dirt Mixture
3) Clay from the yard... if you have any...
1) Shape and bend the chicken wire into place
2) Use some clay to 'paste' the chicken wire into plac
3) fill the bottom with alittle clay to keep the dirt from sifting through.
3) Add the dirt
4) Plant a plant.... I choose Thyme so the cascade from its balcony would really take hold.