termites

Termites ate our garden beds

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Half wine barrels -- they look great
Half wine barrels — they add rustic charm

Most of our vege patch is constructed using corrugated iron raised garden beds, which look great, and last for a long time.

Here and there we’ve used half wine barrels, to squeeze in some extra space, and to add further visual interest. Painted inside with a sealant layer, they should also last quite a while, or so we thought.

I recently lent on one of the barrels, and one of the planks snapped straight off, revealing that the apparently solid barrels were in fact a tissue-thin veneer of wood:

Yep, that would be terminates then.
Yep, that would be terminates then.

We know there are termites in the garden, although they’ve never attacked the house in it’s 100-year history. For some reason, I thought that the half wine barrels would be OK, but I was wrong.

Wine barrels make a great meal for termites.
Wine barrels make a great meal for termites.

Once I dug out the soil, the scope of the damage became apparent (photo above). Clearly these aren’t saveable.

So out they went, replaced by a solid raised bed made out of H4 treated pine (with an inside layer of plastic to keep the toxins away from the rhubarb).

There’s one half wine barrel left, but it’s in the open, away from any fences or other wood sources. We’ll see how long it lasts!

The new garden bed -- this should last.
The new garden bed — this should last.
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