As this is being written we are experiencing some late summer weather. Great for the garden so long as you keep the water up. However, this will not last long. The summer crops – beans, sweet corn, zucchini, eggplant, capsicums, cucumbers, pumpkins and rock melons as well as some herb crops are coming to an end.

One disappointing feature was the unfortunate tendency of some people to pick produce (vegetables and fruit) before it was ready.  Much more satisfying to allow the produce to ripen and to be available to many more people.

The change of seasons will be upon us and we have to look at our winter crops.

At a gardeners’ meeting recently we traversed the whole garden and came up with ideas for winter plantings. One new idea is to try planting potatoes in large bags. Another innovation will be “green cropping” to produce natural soil improvement.  Otherwise silver beet, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbages, carrots and broad beans as well as seasonal herbs will be sown over the next few weeks.

Two beds are to be part of a trial involving the use of charcoal in the soil to test its effectiveness as a soil improver. There are also four beds to be made ready for Schools Arbour Day plantings in June by visiting groups of students from local schools – East Hamersley Primary, Glendale Primary and Warwick Senior High Schools.

Watering has proved quite a chore over the summer now that the Habitat Garden has grown to full size. Once the cooler weather and, hopefully, rain comes this will be much easier.  In any event, a roster for less frequent watering – perhaps two or three days a week – will be maintained over autumn, winter and spring.  Volunteers are always welcome. Even if you just put your name on a reserve list that will be helpful.

Also useful for the Garden are lawn clippings as an ingredient for making good compost.

One attraction of our annual Spring Open Day (4 November 2017) is the sale of pot plants.  Gardeners have begun potting plants in readiness.  Plants such as Canna Lilly, Geranium and Pelargonium, Federation Daisies, Iris, Snapdragon, Dianthus, Vinca, Impatents, Red Hot Polka, Agapanthus, Tree Begonia, Cosmos and Salvia are always popular.  If you can help out by potting some plants for sale your assistance will be appreciated.   It’s not too early.  In addition, we are always looking for garden pots to grow plants so please bring them along.

DID YOU KNOW? – Hamersley Habitat Community Garden will operate the Bunnings Balcatta sausage sizzle on Easter Saturday 15 April 2017.

TIP – Add compost, bentonite clay and/or rock dust to the soil before planting your vegetables or shrubs.  They will improve the soil and help our sandy soils to retain moisture.

Happy Gardening.  See you at the Community Garden sometime.

The Gardeners

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