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Time for Open Gardens & planting Summer Veges

I am writing this from the Waiheke Jassy Dean Garden Festival, having returned last week from New Plymouth where I was lucky enough to be visiting for the Taranaki Garden Festival.

During November we are spoiled for choice on garden events as our gardens burst into bloom and all the non-human creatures celebrate life by recreating it over and over. The dawn chorus of bird song is a real treat at this time of year in Auckland, especially at Wadhamville where they are made so welcome.

My favourite part of the Taranaki festival is ‘The Sustainable Backyard Trail’ where last year I learned all about ‘The Ruth Stout No Work Method, (RSM)’ which transformed how I garden my vegetables. Basically, this means covering the soil in 6 inches of Hay! After a year of hardly any watering, no weeding and no feeding with fabulous results, I am hooked! I’ve just taken delivery (courtesy of husband) of four shiny new bales from Trademe and have spread hay around my 30 or so tomato plants. Hurrah!

This year, I went back to meet up with Simeon who first introduced me to the method from his and his wife’s amazing permaculture property – I scored 20 strawberry plants and thanked Simeon for literally ‘changing my gardening life.

On Waiheke, I attended a workshop with Claire Mummery from Grow Inspired on gardening with clay. She described a fabulous method, a variation on the RSM above, using layers of basically waste materials which you can also use in pots. We shall be adopting this method for our salad bowls in our workshops! I also bought a Bokashi bin and learned about EM – Essential Microbes.

Garden for Wellbeing November 2020 Newsl
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