Well as you may or may not know, I work at Geelong Botanic Gardens and am primarily responsible for the Edible Garden project that is happening there. We have built a large vegie patch, that includes......
With the increased awareness in productive and sustainable gardening, the Central Lawn has been converted into showing the differing ways that vegetables can be grown in the garden. Many methods have been used from the No-Dig method, developed by Ester Dean, the traditional method and gardening in containers. Organic and sustainable practice has been followed, from the recycled timber and brick, even old brake drums used as containers.
The Blue Potato Boxes
These boxes will show the six bed rotation system. The rotation system is suitable for warmer climates where legume crops (Peas and Beans) and Brassicas (Cabbage and Broccoli) cannot follow one another, as in warmer climates they are primarily grown in the cooler months. Infestations of root knot nematodes are also a problem so a green manure bed has been included.
1. Peas and Beans
3. Green Manures
4. Onions and root crops
5. Sweet corn and cucurbits
6. Tomatoes, chilies, capsicum and/or other solanums
The boxes were filled with a compost mixture.
The Four Cultural Beds
These Beds will show food grown in other countries, Africa, Americas, Europe and Asia. The beds are using the No-Dig method. First the frame was made using recycled timber. The timber was lined with plastic as it had been treated with arsenic to prevent rotting and we did not want this leeching into the vegetables. Then a thick layer of newspaper/cardboard was laid down. On top of this was placed a 20 cm thick layer of organic matter (leaves or pea straw). Then topped with a garden compost mixture of compost, composted mulch, sea grass, leaf mould and dolomite. The vegetables were then planted into this.
Le Potager en Parterre Bed
A parterre is a formal garden consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern. This will feature a selection of seasonal vegetables, to illustrate that there is no reason why a productive garden can be beautiful and relaxing as well. This bed will also feature Heirloom vegetables that were grown by the original curator, Daniel Bunce.
The garden also includes examples of companion planting, Heirloom vegetables and some rare and unusual vegetables that have been sourced by GBG from various seed companies from around the country.
Pots of various sizes and materials show you that even a small space can be used to grow vegetables and herbs. Where pots are made of material of a porous nature they should be sealed to stop water evaporation. Likewise containers should not be too small as larger pots hold moisture better.
An heirloom variety of vegetable usually predates World War 2. Heirloom varieties have been bred for flavour, and qualities like growing well in different micro climates, so they are much more useful for the home gardener. By contrast modern F1 hybrids are bred for qualities like their ability to be harvested by machine, their ability to withstand the transporting process over long distances and their ability to be refrigerated. Varieties grown here have been chosen for their historical value, i.e.: they were grown by the first Curator and mentioned in his book, Manual of Practical Gardening 1838 and from Stinton’s Nursery and Plant Farm catalogues, (an old Geelong Nursery).
Where possible seed has been collected from local seed savers and Heritage Seed Companies. Some of the vegetables will be allowed to go to seed and the seed then collected and saved for the next season.
More information is available on our website.
Organic Vegetable Gardening-Annette McFarlane
The Australian Fruit and Vegetable Garden- Clive Blazey and Jane Varkulevicius
.......the GOG had a ball and were inspired, also learnt about unusual vegetables and in all was a great day out. Then they visited my home garden, and then we visited Jo and Theas garden, a paradise for childrens and vegies (a haven for little greenies) photos to follow