The home page of the Collingwood branch of the Country Women's Association
Garden Diary 2019
PLOT WORKING BEES see you down there…
Each 4th Saturday of the month, 1.30 until 4.30 pm
Autumn is a time of regrouping in the garden.
A new season is upon us.
It’s time to tidy up after the summer harvests, replenish the soil and firm resolve for the year ahead.
I’ll be preparing one bed for a garlic crop and another for peas’n beans and leafy greens.
Come on down you want to.
September 1. Spring has Sprung…
KC and Margot did a Huge weed to make the hillside plot ready for a Huge Spring planting.
It’s all systems go to get our 2018 crops in in time for our Spring Garden party, next November…
Beds are numbered in each plot, plant lists are set out in our August entry and the Spring Planting Guide is here.
See you at the plot:
August 8th, 2018 – preparing for spring
Blossom is starting to pop. It feels like Spring.
Jemima has created some ceramic tags to identify each of the beds and Pia has put together August planting ideas- so it’s time to get those gloves on:
It’s time to start propagating some plants in your big or little greenhouse, kitchen window or other warm sunny spot at home for plants that can be planted out in September.
Here’s a guide to what seeds can be directly planted into our gardens and also which seedlings can go in now.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list, or a list of mandatory items – just a few ideas based on the rotating bed plan for some yummy items.
Bed 1 (edible greens):
Beans – directly sown
Broccoli – seedlings sown
Pal Choi – direct
Cabbage – seedlings
Tattoo – direct
Silverbeet – direct
Lettuce – direct
Roquette – direct
Bed 2 (root crops):
Spring onions – seedlings
Bed 3 (companions):
Corn (seedlings for September)
Zucchini (seedlings for September)
Cucumber (seedlings for September)
Pumpkin (seedlings for September)
Bed 4 (solanums):
Green manure such as lucerne – direct. Once turned over the following can be planted in September as seedlings:
Potatoes – direct
By the way, herbs and edible flowers can be planted throughout the plots.
They will not only taste good but attract the birds and bees.
Hmm… sunflowers can be planted from seedlings from now until the end of summer…
July 28, 2018 Plot Plans taking shape
Identification of each plot has now crystallised into:
Plot 1. Riverside
Plot 2. Hillside
Margot, Pia and Helen attended this month’s working bee. Due to CCF’s working bee over seer being away we were able to focus on shaping the beds in our newest Hillside plot.
Maintaining constant weeding is clearly going to be our challenge into Spring.
We weeded and cleaned up beds in the Hillside plot then carted compost for some exciting new plantings.
Pia planted snow pea seeds and ambitiously experimented with direct sewing some heirloom watermelon seeds despite it still being a little cold still. Let’s see how they go.
Margot’s delicious (mystery) berry went in, along with Helen’s asparagus heads. Get ready for the best asparagus rolls you’ve ever tasted!
In the Riverside plot the broad beans are coming along well, as are the peas, sweet peas, silverbeet, and broccoli.
The bed rotation plan was discussed and beds in Hillside plot numbered 1 – 4 to suit the 4 bed rotation plan. The idea is that we can plant what ever takes our fancy – as long as it’s in the bed that belongs to that “family” of plants per the rotation system.
We’re aiming to plant lots of yummy herbs, so just check that they’re compatible with what else is in the bed and away you go!
Pia has embarked on a creative garden project as a 90th birthday tribute to the CWA.
A fancy, edible scarecrow!
She will be a 1920’s style flapper dancer made from plastic-free, recyclable, secondhand reused materials.
She will have teaspoons for her dress, cutlery for fingers, rolling pins for her legs, ladles for feet and strawberries for hair. Her body will be made out of the chicken wire we inherited in our plot and stuffed with soil to be able to hold the strawberries that will be planted in her…
June 16, 2018 Whew, garlic in before solstice…
Margot and Jemima managed to plant a line of garlic and a patch of parsley in the Riverside Plot.
We now have a Plot rotation Plan that will suit both garden plots as we develop them.
KC and Margot did some maintenance weeding at our No 1. Plot.
Take a look at this bounty! Pean ‘n beans, silver beet and broccoli all booming.
Spring onions up but kale sadly devoured by Pests.
We met Norma from a neighbouring plot who leads a family team at her very productive plot.
Check out the winter planting guide posted on June 1.
I loved Tino’s planting on the recent Gardening Australia.
I’m hoping to do a big winter greens and garlic planting next weekend if anyone’s interested.
June 1, 2018 Winter has arrived.
There is a lot to do in our garden plots.
My great hope is to get a crop of garlic in before the Winter Solstice.
If anyone has organic garlic that’s sprouting let’s make a bed for it and put it in with leeks too.
May 26, 2018, Farm Plotters Working Bee
Margot and Pia represented the CWA at the Garden Plotters working bee.
Our focus was weeding the pathways and we were pleased the group was tasked with an area close by our ‘Hill’ plot.
Our neighbour Lyndal helped us clear one pathway but we have a job ahead to clean up the weeds from pathways surrounding our two plots.
Our “treasure trove” was short lived. The previous owners removed the asparagus and most of the berries – and the irrigation system too, which was a surprise. KC and Margot discovered the loss on a mid week weeding visit.
Nevertheless, we are still rejoicing in the beautiful soil, our wonderful neighbours and that we have time to plant a crop of garlic before the winter solstice.
If anyone has sprouting organic garlic to spare???
‘The garden committee is formed, comprising Jemima, Pia, KC, Helen and Margot. If you want to be part of this group just let us know and you’ll stay updated on planting and planning and gatherings.
May 6, 2018, Treasure Trove garden revealed
Today Helen and Margot tackled the newest plot and here the weeds hid a secret edible cornucopia.
The plot has a fantastic planting of both Rhubarb and asparagus (a Purple variety and Fat Bastard). We uncovered Thyme, sage and mint as well as the huge surviving artichoke and the berries growing along the fence may be raspberries.
It was a four barrow relay to the pigpen where Myrtle did her best to process the prunings and weeds.
We found beds marked out and an irrigation system. There’s a compost bin and some tools – even a short hose.
We were there for around two and a half hours and now the initial Big Weeding is done.
On the next visit we can till the garden beds, add compost, re-peg the garden borders and maybe get some parsley and winter greens in…
May 5, 2018 Pumpkin Patch Planted!
Margot and KC have broken the back of the weed infestation at our original plot.
We cleared another big section of weeds and added more compost then planted silverbeet, broccoli and some turnips.
We borrowed neighbour Jennifer’s hose and watered it in.
But get this!
We have two plots now. This one is a true Treasure Trove.
That yellowy stuff right hand bottom corner is a patch of asparagus. There’s lemon verbena growing on the fence and berries along one side.
KC harvested some rhubarb for a a tart.
At the end off the day we took our cart of weeds to the pig pens past the compost area – one of my favourite places on the farm…
We took home the last pumpkin and will be bringing pumpkin soup along to our next meeting.
Anzac day, 2018
25 April was historic at the CWA garden plot.
Firstly, we harvested our first vegetables. Two pumpkins – remnants from the plot’s previous caretaker, had separated from their dying vines. There is one large pumpkin left with a pretty trail of late flowers on its vine.
Secondly, KC and Margot seized the moment to catch the narrowing seed planting window for winter greens.
There was a lot of preparation required.
The lawn grasses Kikuyu and Couch are the weed curse of all plotters at the farm.
The mattock and pick from the shed were pressed into service and another large area of our plot cleared.
The weeds were taken off to the designated farm compost area.
A load of farm compost had been deposited close to the plots to be shared so we added several barrow loads to our new, freshly turned garden bed.
We planted Helen’s seeds in rows.
Broadbeans at the back to grow on our neighbours infrastructure and then a row of Greenfeast peas. We added a small patch of spring onions and (with a borrowed hose) watered it in.
We have not yet completed the major weeding job but reckon there’s one more concerted effort to achieve that.
The plan is to maintain a tidy, weed-free productive plot and we’ll be adding herbs and greens as we form up each of the beds.
Margot has the key and is very happy to meet you at our garden anytime to show you the ropes.