Tuesday, 12 June 2012

June 2012 Meeting Update

For those of you who missed the last meeting, here's a summary and tips from our speakers.
Prior to the presentation, Catriona shared info on a weed from her garden - Galinsoga parviflora, that can be used in Ajiaco soup (a Columbian soup). It was likely the weed came into her garden with the lucerne. It is currently established in an area of bare earth and lawn and Catriona sees that it could quickly become established, but at present is easily removed.

ABC’s Gardening Australia segment - Graham Gartshore showed a segment from a recent TV episode about a couple on a Permaculture journey.
It was a great and lively meeting with Sharon and Graham Gartshore presenting on layered garden beds. 

Making raised garden beds
Graeme and Sharon both have a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate). They had a great Powerpoint presentation of their own experiences. The reason that they decided to make a raised bed was because they have an area of poor clay soil. It's worthwhile to go over some of the areas that they touched upon including:
  • What are the benefits of making a raised garden? 
  •  How to select a site?
  • What size should it be?
  • How to fill it in - what 'layers' should you use?
The garden that Graeme and Sharon created was, in effect, a new compost heap. They said however, you can plant in it immediately (if you make holes and add the new plantings in already composted soil). However, they decided to wait for a few weeks to allow their new raised garden to finish composting before planting.

Practicalities: choose a garden bed size that you can reach into the middle!

  • corrugated iron raised garden bed from local supplier
  • 1.5m x 400mm - cost $120
  • level ground/de-grass
  • establish a drainage layer in the "corrugated iron bed" - palm fronds, sugar cane mulch, crusher dust
  • geo-textile material over top ($5/metre from landscaping place)
  • grass clippings & weeds from three bay composting system
  • water in molasses
  • mulch over this
  • mushroom compost & comfrey leaves & minerals (such as blood & bone, lime, dolomite, seaweed solution, chook pellets, mineral base from Nutri-Tech Solutions)
  • lucerne, hay, compost
  • heap all material into the ring until material is about 30cm above the rim
Estimated cost $170

The presentation created quite a long Q&A session afterwards - especially about composting, worms and the use of mushroom compost that contains salt!

Sharon & Graham established this garden on Anzac Day and it has dropped down to the edge of the garden bed in 6 weeks. They will plant asparagus into this garden in Spring.

We hope you'll join us for the next meeting on Tuesday, 3 July.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Next Meeting - Tuesday 5 June

Hope to see you at our next meeting from 7.00pm.  Guest speakers will be Sharon and Graham Gartshore who will share their knowledge about building raised gardens.

All welcome!