Our second session at Kiwitea School was again with the awesome students from room 2. It’s nice to have the same group again so that we can work on other essential gardening skills and make sure the gardens we planted in previous sessions are producing some food for harvesting. We can tackle any problems and issues that might be cropping up – In the case of Kiwitea Schools garden this would be the dreaded White Cabbage Butterfly destroying all the brassica we had planted (Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli) Other than this problem the gardens looked amazing, well tended, watered and weeded. I was exciting to be able to pick some of the produce to use in the cooking part of the session. Another exciting thing we were able to do at this session was set up at Hungry Bin Worm Farm. I left the building of this up to the students with a few tips and tricks to get it together properly. Once it was all together we got it up and running, starting with a layer of compost, then worms, food scraps and dry material. We than gave it a bit of a water to activate things and popped in a nice shady spot. It will take 6 -10 months for things to really start working, so room 2 has a big job ahead of them to keep the worm farm happy!
The students made another amazing lunch using some ingredients we found in the garden and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately I had to leave early during this session so I missed out on the yummy lunch, but Ciara and the rest of the team reported to me that it was super yummy. It was awesome to have another wonderful sunny day and everyone was able to sit outside at the picnic table to enjoy their lunch.
Everyone had a wonderful morning at Kiwitea School again and we really look forward to being invited back again in 2022.
Until then, happy gardening everyone! Jacinda
Growing an Avocado tree is so much fun! It does require quite a bit of patience – they can take up to 8!!!! years to produce fruit, but they are lovely trees and a challenge is good!
JOBS FOR THE AUTUMN GARDEN.
Autumn is the time to harvest the last of the summer produce, clear and prepare for the winter garden planting. I find the garden starts to look a little rough around the edges in autumn. Pruning fruit trees, pulling out the old zucchini plants and spent tomatoes to tidy things up is a great plan. Remember not to put your tomato plants in the compost bin as they can spread any diseases this way.
Once the garden has been tidied you can start to replenish the soil with compost, sheep poo or whatever you usually use. once worked into the soil get your winter vegetables in. Sow carrots, radish, swede and turnips directly into the soil and keep the soil moist. Brassicas – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale – but make sure to watch for slugs and snails. Also, white butterfly caterpillars can destroy your crop in a few days. Kiwicare has a great organic spray you can use which won’t hurt our bees and other beneficial insects. Lettuce, silverbeet and spring onions are also great to plant this time of the year – Red lettuces grow better in the winter than green ones do, so they are a great option.
Gardens can be mulched after planting which will help to keep weeds done over the wetter months. It’s a good idea to turn your compost bin before it gets to cold and if you get frosts cover the bin. I use an old piece of carpet and some black plastic to keep the heat in.
Most importantly, enjoy the warm evenings outside before the cold sets in – walk around your garden and pick the last of the cherry tomatoes and strawberries.