Today is the first in a series of Gardening clinic sessions to be held in Breightmet on a once a month basis. Four local lads from the estate turned up and tended to their respective raised beds where they are growing their own fruit, vegetables and flowers. The idea behind these sessions is for me to support people on the site who are either new to gardening or in need of some sort of horticultural advice. Despite the fact that I have been gardening for over twenty years I always believe that in Gardening you will always learn something new, so for me and my way of working, there are no masters and experts only knowledge that we have yet to share until occasions like these sessions arise.
Issues and ailments
Dock leaves – are a big problem in the raised beds, we suggested that people pull the visible docks out at the roots, and stop digging and turning the soil so as not to disturb the many hundreds of dormant dock seeds underneath, I have this method to great success on one of my allotment plots that was covered with dock leaves.
Water – The site has a small water-but close to the composting area but more will be needed as move towards the warmer dryer weather of summer, we discussed keeping a look out for large plastic containers that we can use for water-buts, and possibly harvesting water by using pieces of recycled guttering that is already on the site.
Cats – It is only to be expected that in a built urban area there will be cats about, and cats love to go to the toilet in dry well compost, some of the remedies we discussed included putting garlic around the beds, we also mentioned that giving the beds a regular watering can deter the cats from using them as a toilet.