In a Word, Weeding …

Spring in the Newstead Community GardenSpring 2013 has been one out of the box, or the history books – it’s been a ‘real’ spring, with winds, hail, heat and all of them in one day. And most importantly, rain. A reminder of the seasons of old, before the drought and the dry ones.

One word sums up this month in the garden – weeding! We have plenty to do in the community garden, especially where new areas of garden bed have been established – eg. Frances’ native plantings – or where self seeding from previous crops has gone berserk (eg. potatoes in the strawberry plot are not good companions even though the spuds where planted a couple of years ago) or around the fruit trees. Keep the weeds out of your compost or they will take out valuable nutrients before it even gets spread.

A weed is really just a plant out of place. Many weeds will add value to compost or compost teas, or can be eaten, or if small enough replanted where they are wanted. But some weeds, like couch, or poisonous ones like hemlock, will always be weeds. These weeds need to be disposed of carefully so they cannot proliferate – drying out on black plastic and burning (use the ash on the garden) is one way. Make sure you keep them quarrantined away from others – we have a series of mesh bins for the ‘baddies’.

Spring in the Newstead Community GardenIn biodynamics ‘peppers’ are used as one way to manage plant and insect/animal problems, with weeds it’s usually the seeds that are collected and burnt according to the position of planets, moon, sun and cosmic patterns. A dynamised liquid is made and spread. But it’s all in the timing (and not allowing the seeds to spread before you collect them!)

Besides the weeding, November is a busy time in the garden for other more productive pursuits. Check out the November Notes, now posted, to find out what to plant and other garden tasks. I reckon it’s just about time to plant tomatoes, not that the Melbourne Cup means anything, but we might be just past the post as far as bad frosts go.

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