WORDS & PHOTOS: Julianna Rozek
MUC and Horticultured have similar goals, so it was only a matter of time before we conspired together. On a not-too-cold Friday afternoon, members from both clubs gathered at the Burnley Nursery to give spring and summer vegetables a bit of a head start in a greenhouse.
While the end of winter is still too cold outside for most seeds to germinate – they’d prefer to wait for warmer and sunnier times – a greenhouse provides an environment conducive to growing. Particularly a fancy one set at optimum temperature, sunlight and humidity for seed sprouting like the ones at Burnley.
After a bit of discussion at the start about how many of what we should plant, and into what size pots (there are surprisingly many to choose from), the potting shed turned into a well-oiled planting machine. There were labels to be made (a critical and often neglected step of planting – how many times have you ended up with fifty mystery tomatoes, and only one capsicum?), punnets to be filled with seed raising mix (finer than regular potting soil, and with a bit less fertiliser), holes to be made with super-special dibblers (aka chopsticks) and seeds to be carefully dropped in and covered with a fine dusting of soil. Finally, all the trays had to be watered in gently ‘like rain’, so as not to disturb the seeds.
We planted Burnley Surecrop Tomatoes, which were actually developed at Burnley back in ye olde days, plus a rainbow of other tomatoes, sunflowers, a few capsicums and cucumbers, pumpkins and basil. They will go into the MUC and Horticultured gardens, and some will be sold at the Farmers Market.
We’ll keep you updated on their progress! Eventually they will need to be re-planted into bigger pots and moved to a brighter and less humid greenhouse to keep growing, so if you couldn’t make it this times, don't worry, you didn’t miss out on all the fun.
Because of the good turnout, we finished the seed planting early and had a bit of time to wander down to the Horticultured Community Gardens. We did some weeding (as always), put down more tanbark to keep the weeds down, installed a sign, AND DISCOVERED ASPARAGUS GROWING. Some of it was unintentionally blanched under a thick pile of mulch, but look at those big fat beauties!
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.