Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spring News

Here is the latest news from  Community Gardeners:

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Mackie Lane Update:

Norma's amazing sweet peas along Mackie Lane
The garden is an absolute picture at the moment with the majority of beds planted out and producing generous crops of vegetables including rainbow chard, carrots, turnips, Asian greens, lettuce, rocket, broccoli and peas.

Mackie Lane is a sea of brilliant colour from the two metre high sweet peas growing along the fence. Large bunches of flowers are being picked each Wednesday and Sunday, encouraging even more growth and flowers.

There has been a great deal of progress over winter with the building of new beds in readiness for groups of children from Middle Harbour After School Care and Bond Street Montessori coming to participate in our garden. We continue to celebrate with food and drinks on the first Sunday of the month, but were sad to farewell Maria, Scott and Anna who are leaving Australia. Greg Burns has been busy trying new ideas as he explains below:

Perry Runners: going gang busters!
The Strawberry Wall: What do you do with a surplus of wooden pallets, a desire to explore the vertical space in your garden, and a great need for lots more strawberries? Build a vertical strawberry bed! We simply placed four pallets on their side secured by steel posts, lined the inside with weed mat to hold the soil, and then filled both sides of the pallets with 200 strawberry runners! The inspiration and all the instructions were from ABC Gardening. The 200 strawberry runners were sourced from Perry Runners, who provided great service and the right price.

Wicking Beds: The garden seems to be forever expanding as the total area has doubled during the last year and bed construction steadily progresses. Naturally the task of watering and the amount of water required is also growing. In response we decided to build raised beds that virtually watered themselves. A growing bed of soil and mushroom compost sits on top of a reservoir of water and a wick acts as conduit between the two. This wicking bed approach can be found in the Gardening Australia magazine, Sept 2011 p52.

Edible TeePea: What do you get when you throw together a few bamboo sticks, some string, a few bricks and pots with some pea seeds? A productive cubby house for the kids! The inspiration and instructions for our edible TeePea can be found in the Gardening Australia magazine, Oct 2011.

Thank you

We have had some wonderful financial support lately for which we are very grateful. Rotary has given us a grant to provide shading in the garden; Mosman Council has given us a grant to expand the number of garden beds and implement our plans for a kids program and Bunnings Balgowlah has kindly donated a garden shed.

Middle Head Update:

Visitors at Middle Head

Production and harvesting has continued throughout the winter and we’re pleased that the native beds are surviving well without netting. We have decided to plant dwarf paper daisies at each end of our native beds as the paper daisies we planted last year were very tall. Our broccoli and brocolini plants have been very successful and we continue to harvest celery, parsley, coriander, snow peas, silver beet and lettuce. Broad beans and potatoes are progressing well.

Members have enjoyed nibbles and drinks on the last Sunday each month and we had a special celebration in July for Anna and Dario before they left for Italy to be married on August 31st. We look forward to welcoming them back in Spring. Our spring planting will include silver beet, Asian salad greens, capsicum, lettuce, eggplant, zucchini and possibly tomatoes.

ABC Vegie Garden App: ABCVegie Guide is an essential tool for all vegetable gardeners – from the novice to the experienced - to help you find out what vegie should be planted when, no matter the climate zone you’re in. ABC Vegie Guide will give you all the information you need to produce healthy crops throughout the year, including growing tips, pest and disease control pointers and harvest guides.

Mackie Lane September 2013

We hope you are enjoying the warmer weather and look forward to seeing you in the gardens sometime.

Cheers Tina

Mosman Community Gardeners