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 Community Garden News

October 14, 2019 October 2019, Regular Features No Comments

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood

Well, we certainly know that it’s spring…warm days, chilling frosts, gentle breezes and destructive winds: hungry birds; wind machines and helicopters, and the sudden death of wee plants that have been the folly of enthusiasm to get things going for summer harvest!

Our enthusiasm to populate our cunningly crafted bean support, with borlotti and runner beans has been a wee bit of a disaster and unfortunately fallen victim to the recent frosts. However, fortunately we have a substantial reserve of well cultivated seedlings to replace the early disaster.

This leads nicely to few tips for raising seeds; much cheaper way to fill the garden, and very satisfying!

  • Sow seeds in a good quality seed raising mix in either pots or trays
  • Fill the container to within 2 cms of the rim of the container; moisten the soul, and when it is entirely damp, sow the seeds
  • Cover the seeds to a depth of no more than twice their diameter. Very fine seeds need no cover, but just to be pressed firmly into the mixture.
  • Ensure that they are kept damp…not flooded. Covering them with newspaper or a piece of glass works well.
  • Keep seed moist at all times…if they dry out, give them a good watering, but not a drowning!
  • Once seed germinate, remove covering and expose them gradually to sunlight. Keep them warm at night when it cools.( Bring them indoors or cover with glass or plastic.)
  • Delicate  plants may need to be planted on into a larger pot before planting into the garden : more robust plants ( most veges) can be planted straight into the garden.

At the Community Garden we have begun planting our spring lettuce crop, beetroot and bok choi: another crop of broccoli has also gone in, now that we have a good netting system, as our brassicas have been severely attacked by hungry birds through winter, we hope to have good produce available before the white butterflies take over.

Many thanks to Alistair Gardner for the nets; they have made a massive difference. Mauruuru nui koe.

Our next projects are to add to and develop our kumara patch(any contributions of expertise are still welcome  in this area); and to clear the “net rooms” for our Mediterranean efforts…tomatoes, aubergine, chillies and cucumbers…all veges that were requested in our recent survey. Feel free to join us and assist in our spring endeavours…Wednesday 10-12, and occasionally the same time on Sundays.

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