Monday, 24 October 2011

Community Gardening Day Updates

September Gardening Day

It was great to see so many new and very keen gardeners at the September Gardening Day. 
  • Amy and Andrew tackled the ‘rosemary reduction project’ with gusto and have now opened up an additional area for planting in the North-West corner of the garden
  • Bryn and Mike erected berry trellis in the garden bed behind the water tank and in the Food Forest
  • Steph and Jess did a fabulous job of thinning out radish, beetroot and carrot seedlings and planting out Pak Choi seedlings, before giving all the plants a Seasol drink along with Kate
  • Lyle and Carola demonstrated determination and persistence putting together a set of shelves for the shed
  • Ivor took on mulching this month and began to build up a mound of cow manure and straw around the growing potato plants
  • Judy and Angelo labeled all the plants in the garden
  • Allison prepared the newest garden bed ready for planting summer capsicums, chillies and eggplants

Thanks to everyone for your hard work!

We noted that the soil needs improving in the two central garden beds and will embark on a mission to add organic matter (manures, compost, mulch) and encourage soil life in the coming months and before planting summer crops throughout October and November.

Trellis building in the Food Forest - September 2011

October Gardening Day

Our October Gardening Day saw lots of seedling planting, teepee construction, seed and cutting propagation and continuing efforts to improve the garden soil.

Seedlings of eggplant, capsicum and basil were planted in the garden bed adjoining the library’s brick wall.  This bed was prepared in September and, although it may be quite chilly to plant out these seedlings normally at this time of year, we believe the brick wall will produce a toasty microclimate perfect for growing heat-loving eggplants, capsicums and chillies.  Basil and spring onion plants are also now growing in this mixed bed, with berries trellised along the wall.

A happy mingling of squash seedlings and sweet corn and bean seeds were planted out by Damian in the front garden bed into well-rotted manure.  This type of planting, we are informed by Angelo, is known as ‘Three Sister’s Planting’.  Further investigation reveals it is the original companion planting practiced by Native Americans.  Find out more here

Gorgeous heirloom tomato varieties, including Tigerella, Black Russian and Mortgage Lifter, were planted into improved soil with a sprinkle of sulfate of potash to encourage flowering and fruiting.  We will plant out tomatoes, along with other seedlings at intervals over the next few months to ensure a long and productive summer season.

The bean teepee was erected by Jennifer, Lyle and Allison.  Nylon string has been tied onto a central pole and looped around metal pegs into the soil at regular intervals.  Three bean seeds have been planted at the base of each string and these will hopefully sprout and climb up the strings to create a fantastic living cubby.  The design was inspired by this one.  Rocket seeds have been planted on the teepee's 'inside' and hopefully all the rocket will be harvested by the time the teepee welcomes its first little visitors.

The bean teepee
Bush beans seeds were planted throughout the garden and a couple of smaller Lebanese zucchinis will start off the 2011-12 zucchini crop!

We also spent time propagating cuttings to add to the ornamental beds (which are looking a bit sad at the moment), and trays of new seeds, which will be ready for planting on the next gardening day in November.

The Food Forest - September 2011

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