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Community Garden News 

February 9, 2021 February 2021 No Comments

“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.” So says the Bard…or in our case January!

All supports have become less supportive, and in some cases non-existent; some vegies are simply ‘browned-off’; most nets have flown to goodness knows where ; the artichokes have either been shredded or provided good shelter for those out of the direct force of the wind; the corn looks sad; lettuces are surviving; aubergines look positively healthy; tomatoes that have survived look OK, but slow to colour…. 

However, if you follow the MGC on Facebook you will note that we have delivered an abundance of produce to the Larder each week…courgettes and cucumbers have been as spectacular as ever; various forms of kale have provided good leavy greens, as have lettuce; beans have been regular producers, if not prolific, and we now have beetroot and onions coming up for harvest. And now the HEAT!

Due to the testing weather, we have delayed planting more crops: we do not want to see plants blowing down Oxford Street in disgust or shrivelling up in the heat!

We have also discovered that our soil, despite an active watering roster is causing plants to become hydrotropic. This advice tendered by a visiting green keeper…not a local one. I have searched for a simple explanation for this, and as one article suggested “there is not a lot written on this subject”!! 

So simple laywoman’s explanation… all plant roots turn to water for their growth and development: with dry conditions and restricted water the soil forms a crust which eventually seals and prevents water sinking deep into the soil and providing the necessary hydration for plant roots. This occurs despite regular watering, as water tends to pool on the surface, but not sink in. 

There are several solutions…there are commercial products that will help and can be applied via your hose (Yates’s Soil Wetter); or you can add dishwashing liquid to a watering can and apply to the soil, or for smaller areas there are water storage balls that you can add to the soil: these too are available commercially. Just thought that this may be useful, if you are finding that despite all your plants are looking a bit frazzled.

We hope for rain before too long so that we can plant another cycle of summer crops. We are delighted to have a couple of new gardeners who we welcome, and hope will enjoy their experiences with the soil and its joys and tribulations. You are welcome to join us … Wednesday, 51 Oxford St, we would love to see you.

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