The seedlings in our little greenhouse have been slow growing, and we think it's because they are getting cooked in the hot weather. Our greenhouse does have a sprinkler, but we thought some shade cloth over the roof would help as well.
After clambering around the back of the greenhouse like ninjas and doing some skillful maneuvering, we got the shade cloth perfectly in place over the roof. Now to wait and see if Melbourne's crazy winds blow it away!
We also checked the progress of the seedlings already planted in the garden. Corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and soy beans are all doing well.
We are also on the look out for sunflower seedlings, if anyone has any they can drop by we would be very grateful.
Today's working bee was focused on the little critters that improve the ecosystem of a garden. We already have loads of bright flowers to attract bees and butterflies, and today we added two insect hotels for use by native bees, native wasps, lady bugs and spiders. Their heightened presence should do great things for the garden, ensuring our plants are pollinated and nasty pests (like aphids) are kept at bay!
We planted two pumpkin varieties: 'Wee B Little' (a compact variety that produces loads of mini pumpkins) and the 'World's Largest Pumpkin'. It will be very interesting to see how big we can get a pumpkin to grow with lots of worm juice and compost! In between the pumpkins we planted corn, and once the corn has taken off we will plant beans here as well. This is known as the 'Three Sisters' companion planting arrangement. Corn plants provide a natural pole for the beans to grow up, pumpkins work as a mulch by suppressing weeds and retaining soil moisture, and beans add nitrogen to the soil (which increases its fertility) and provide structural support to the tall corn plants. We can't wait to see how these three vegetables work together!
The garden is taking off with the wonderful warm weather we've been having! The nasturtiums are bright, the strawberries are sweet, and there is plenty to harvest. Today we picked lettuce, various herbs, various varieties of silverbeet, kale, Warrigal greens, potatoes, edible flowers and the very first broad beans! The meals we make this week will no doubt be filled with hearty greens and adorned with beautifully coloured flowers.
As well as harvesting, we planted potatoes (including some stunning teardrop potatoes and the perfect all-rounder, sebago potatoes) and mixed beans. We also noticed that the grape vine we transplanted last week is looking super healthy! It will be amazing when it is growing over our arch and we can snack on fresh grapes during working bees.
Hope to see you at next week's working bee, where we will learn how to make an insect hotel to attract beneficial critters to the garden!
We spent our Friday afternoon working bee doing compost maintenance, thinning carrots and putting in some lovely companion plants for our future Summer veggies. We are looking forward to warm weather and the wonderful fruits and vegetables it brings!
The Voice wrote an article about us and kitchen gardening in general - to see it, click here.
In this week's working bee, we were in the Systems Garden, getting our Glasshouse ready to grow some spring seedlings.
Look at us all being busy bees in the garden! Friday working bees at 4pm are always such a feel good event, chilling out before the weekend, nibbling on herbs and talking about our weeks.
Last week we planted carrot tops, that's right, carrot tops! When you chop off the top of a carrot, you can place it back in the ground and it should grow another carrot. We will document the progress in future blogs. Exciting experimenting.
Join us throughout spring, we plan to build an insect hotel, plant summer veg, build some irrigation, and hold a few workshops and parties! Check out our calendar.
Our last working bee saw us training the rest of the native raspberries up pyramid shaped trellises. They were getting a bit unruly, and we also thought the garden needed some height to it. We think it looks great as well as keeping the raspberries happy!
This is what we at MUC garden call 'garden sushi', or a 'herb sandwich'. Fennel and parsley, garlic chives and basil mint, all wrapped up in a nasturtium leaf is a flavour hit!
With some fresh compost, we planted some more kale seedlings. They should relish that chocolatey mixture.
The chilly weather can't keep us away from our luscious garden. In this week's working bee we trained the native raspberry up a climbing frame to stop it from taking over the entire native edibles bed (and to give it more light and air). It had sent out many runners which we snipped off and potted up to give away and spread the native raspberry love.
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.