Garden update 4.11.16

ASCG Working Bee this Sunday 

The next garden working bee is this Sunday, November 6th 8.30am (1st Sunday of the month). Our list of tasks include -

  • Spread two loads of chip mulch.

  • Chop up greens for composting.

  • Tie up tomatoes in demo bed.

  • Pull out the peas and plant back sweet potato tubers.

  • Weeding on the dunes.

  • Prepare soil in more areas in the mandala garden and plant.

  • Participate in a short workshop on the irrigation system.

Garden news:

  • Picking: There’s just so much food in the Gardens at the moment and there will never be a better time for picking than right now! The heat will bring on the aphids and other insects that can spoil your fun so plot holders make sure you pick your vegetables.

  • What to plant right now?  All the summer flowers and veggies should be planted ASAP to get them established before the heat really hits. Tomatoes don’t form fruit when the days are consistently over 35C so the sooner you get them in the better. It may be worthwhile buying a few big plants that are already flowering. It’s way too late for planting winter veggies including all the brassicas (cabbage, caulis, broccoli and Brussel sprouts), bulbing onions, hearting lettuces, all peas, broad beans, coriander and calendulas. But that still leaves a choice of an enormous number of both all year round veggies and summer veggies, flowers and herbs.

  • Shade: Geoff Miers recommends a 50% white shade cloth over all your garden from now on. Some hardy plants survive without shade but it can be tough going for both plants and owners. Remember too that a layer of mulch not only retains moisture but also reduces the temperature of the surface soil by many degrees allowing fine roots near the surface to survive. Growing plants close together also has some benefits especially if you choose companion planting. Bare soil isn’t helpful.

  • New Plots: There has been quite a bit of interest in when the new plots will be ready. Ben Wall and his work for the dole team will very shortly be framing up and laying out irrigation in our third and last batch of plots. We haven’t worked out exactly how many more we’ll squeeze in but somewhere around 12-14. Some might be ready within a couple of weeks, others will take a month or two.

  • Sugar snap pea bed: This is a community bed open to all. The peas have been great but have almost all gone now. We will re-plant sweet potato tubers at our next working bee.

  • Mandala and entrance demo beds: These are both community beds and open to all to pick from and contribute time and plants to. Food for Alice is picking from the beds on Friday evenings and committee member Kay Smith is picking on Saturday mornings to sell to Afghan Traders.

  • Solar pergola: It’s coming along really well but we need to find more cement bricks and add the solar panels to complete the job.

  • Bird baths: We have two bird baths that should always be kept filled to encourage our feathered friends.

  • Water/Water Infrastructure management: For water security we need all plot holders to keep a constant eye open for any problems to do with water. For example, if a Galcon timer or its battery fails, then all the watering it controls stops. A few days in mid-summer can be disastrous.

  • Weeding: This is another area that requires greater group knowledge and shared management. Many eyes and hands make light work and less seeds and less weeds! Every visit, maybe look for at least 10 weeds to pull out. Ask for help in identifying them.

  • The small pond behind the solar pergola created by Work for the Dole has plants in it now (reeds, water lily and general oxygenating plants fish like). 

  • The Bodhi Tree has survived the winter with improved frost protection that seems to have done the trick this year.  The Tree is happily unfurling fresh new leaves along the trunks of last summer's growth.

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