Thanks to Andy for writing a wonderful guest post to update us all on the progress of the community garden over winter. All produce from the garden is donated to the food bank program at Reservoir Neighbourhood House.
While Covid-19 has the community locked down I’ve been coming up to the garden to harvest, plant and maintain the garden. I have been focusing on taking out all the spent summer crops, weeding and turning over the beds so that I can plant winter crops.
We have 23 beds and I have managed to replant 17 to date, 3 yet to go, and 3 that have crops still being harvested like the carrots and silver beet and one bed with a perennial crop, namely strawberries.
I have planted four beds of broad beans – grown from seed, which will start producing in 4 weeks and continue through spring. As well as producing a crop, broad beans being a member of the legume family help to enrich the soil with nitrogen for the spring/summer crops to follow, namely:
There has been some good regular rain so I haven’t had to spend a lot of time watering, instead using the time to get on top of the weeds which are growing apace with the plentiful water. I am trying to keep the beds well mulched once the plants are big enough to help suppress the weed growth.
Whatever produce I have has been taken to Reservoir Neighbourhood House for their food bank which is supporting people undergoing food stress in these hard times. This has included: carrots, pumpkins, lettuce, warrigal greens, radish, parsley, sage, thyme, silverbeet etc
The potato bed has roared back to life with the rain and we will start being able to harvest in the next few weeks. We also have a great crop of warrigal greens which is a native plant/bush food that is a great replacement for spinach. It is nutritionally rich – high in iron and vitamins C,K, and B6. It needs to be blanched or steamed before using. Also known as New Zealand spinach, Botany Bay spinach or by its botanical name Tetragonia Tetragonioides it is very easy to grow, drought tolerant and pest resistant.
If you are thinking of planting some veggies in your own garden now is good time to plant seedlings of the cabbage family- cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale etc. and silver beet which can be seedlings or seed if you can wait a little longer. Lettuce seedlings and rocket seedlings and seeds can go in now.