Working bee #2 – soil in, plants in

This blog records what’s happening in our garden in some detail, for future reference – a garden diary. We will also keep an old fashioned log book to scribble notes in too. this means some duplication, but it’s probably worth it to share what we’re learning and have a back up.

Today (Sunday) we had our second working bee. The four beds we’d built in June and in the intervening weeks we’d been getting them ready to be filled with the help of Hannah Zwartz, the Council’s Green Gardener. Leaves, twigs and branches went in the bottom. We’d wanted to put lawn clippings too but these are in short supply in winter – Holly managed to rustle up a few wheelbarrow loads though. The next layer was horse manure. This Yvonne, Ben, Holly & kids, Chris and I collected from the field by the Stables on the Park (Queen Elizabeth Park that is) with the operator Mandy’s permission – a heaped trailer load which was split between the beds. The next layer was topsoil and peat 50/50 (delivered by M2PP from the Expressway earthworks) with 8kg lime and 5kg blood and bone between the four. We laid soak hoses in this layer too. The top 10-15cm was Paranui Organic Compost that the owners Jacinta and Glen had kindly donated and delivered.

Finally, we actually planted something! Anna Butterworth of Loveplantlife gave us seeds and Diane Turner gardener extraordinaire brought seedlings, more seeds and some welcome advice. Here’s what went where. (We should give the beds better names, but from now we’ll call them 1 – 4 with the west-most being 1).

Bed 1 – Lupins and Mustard seed mix, garlic cloves and mizuna seedlings around the edge
Bed 2 – Diane’s broad beads north half, Anna’s broad beans south half. Silverbeet and kale seedlings around the edge.
Bed 3 – Anna’s broad beans north half, snow peas south half, phcelia everywhere, parsley, silverbeet and kale around the edge.
Bed 4 – Phacelia, snow peas and kale seedlings.

Some of these we just expect to dig in later to enrich the soil. We’ll see what happens! As we were finishing the rain that had been threatening us all day arrived, and we went to Yvonne’s for afternoon tea and a chat. It was a fine day’s work.

More photos here.

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