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Community Garden News, June

June 18, 2019 June 2019 No Comments

We are feeling very excited, as this month  we have received a grant from  Project Gro (this is an initiative of the Soil and Health Association of NZ) and we are one of only six projects nationwide to receive one of these grants. Many thanks to Project Gro , and to the wonderful women at Thunderpants for nominating our garden. Mauruuru nui koe.

This has enabled us to purchase four new garden beds. We are now looking to fill these with our usual recipe of layered paper, seaweed, horse or alpaca pooh (or any animal manure), compost and top soil. This is our standard recipe, which has led to some great results. Try it if you are keen to have a go with your own gardening. Once we have loaded up the new beds, we will leave them to settle for a few weeks before planting.

Apart from the vegies that are currently maturing, we will look to a crop of garlic being one of the first plants into the new beds. There seems to be an ever-growing debate as to when to plant garlic…the shortest day?? while the soil is still warm? at full moon before the shortest day? before the rain sets in? There is, as always, some validity in all these ideas, we have however, opted to stay with the tradition of planting on the shortest day, with a view to harvesting on the longest day. 

We will keep a close eye on potential rust, which seemed to plague many garlic crops last year, and spray with a milk powder/ water  mixture ( about 2 teaspoons of milk powder /a litre of water)if any rusty signs appear. 

As the bulbs start to form nearer the end of garlic’s growing period, we will look to a feed of liquid fertiliser, or some well-watered sheep pellets, around September/ October.

The only seeds that are likely to germinate directly into the soil, now that it  is cooling , are broad bean seeds: they will germinate at between  7 and 10 degrees. We have already planted ours in well prepared plots (rested; composted well, and with watered horse manure dug in) we have a good crop of small plants showing. 

It is a good idea to put cane stakes into the soil around the crop of broad beans, as the seeds are planted: they can grow up to about six feet and need the protection of a twine wrap and putting the canes in late can damage established roots. As we discovered last year, once the beans are mature, pick like crazy to encourage more beans to develop.

What to expect from the Community Garden this coming month…silver beet, spinach, cabbage ,kale and maybe some broccoli .

Call by and visit…we had a wonderful visit from children and parents from Martinborough Playcentre a couple of weeks ago. The children planted broccoli and celery, and a wonderful sunflower plot. They also helped with harvesting and took the produce harvested to the Larder. The compost and the worms also provided learning and great discussion.  We were rewarded with great company and great singing!

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