Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Colour, Compost, Create!

School holidays can be a good time to give gardening and composting a go and if inclement weather intervenes, there is always colouring in! Click on 

        6 Easy Steps to Composting!

1.    Decide what type of composting methods will best work for you e.g. a heap, bin or tumbler

2.    Select a cool dry place to place your composter

3.    Add kitchen scraps and yard trimmings in alternate layers

4.    Keep your pile moist by adding water or additional green material as need

5.    Turn compost or mix with garden fork to aerate - this helps  to speed up the process and reduce odour

6.    Once the waste has been broken down your compost is ready to use

What are the Benefits?

  1. Recycle kitchen and yard waste
  2. Give your garden extra nutrients
  3. Save money on soil conditioners
  4. Attract beneficial organisms – i.e. Worms
  5. Reduce use of harmful chemical fertilisers  

No Dig Garden Bed

The easiest way to create a home garden is to build a no-dig garden bed. This is basically a garden above the natural ground, made up of layers of organic matter that rot down into a nutrient-rich living soil. Make sure that your garden bed site is level and gets at least 5 hours of sun a day. You need a good mixture of two things: carbon materials in the form of straw, and nitrogen in the form of manures. And in the same way, water and air must both be provided.

Remember - the layers break down, so it needs to be regularly topped up with fresh layers. 

  Necessary Items: 

1.    One bag of organic fertiliser - either cow manure or compost
2.    A pile of old newspapers - cardboard is an option
3.    One bale of Lucerne Hay or Sugar Cane Mulch
4.    A garden hose and gloves
5.    Access to water and a tub to soak the newspapers in
6.    Remember to water as you go!
1. Choose the position for your bed
2. Prepare the site: If you are building on lawn, mow the grass
3. If building a border create a rectangular box as the base (optional)
4. Lay down a thick level of wet *newspaper or cardboard - make sure that it completely covers the designated area, 0.5cm thick and overlapping. This kills off any weeds and stops new ones growing.
5. Sprinkle an even 2cm layer of good organic fertiliser
6. Lay down sections of Lucerne Hay to a height of 10cm (no gaps)
7. Sprinkle an even 20cm layer of good organic fertiliser
8. Cover with a loose bedding of Lucerne or Sugar Cane, 20cm thick
9. Finally insert pockets of compost in the straw where you want to put your seeds or seedlings (for most vegetables/ flowers,  it is best to raise seeds in a tray first and transplant them into your bed once they have developed their set of second or third leaves)

*Don’t use glossy or coloured paper



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Plan, Discuss, Create, Imagine!

At St Bernadette's it takes a lot of planning and discussion to begin the process of planting Dwarf Bean seeds in paper cups! What is their best position for sunlight, how far apart do the cups need to be, will the paper break down into the soil? Maybe the Beanstalk will grow as big as Jack's! Let's create a drip system from plastic bottles to keep them watered! The conversation will continue as the seeds become seedlings, then plants and eventually be harvested as fresh produce!