Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

09-10-2013 : Tea party gets KU garden growing again!

As the seasons turn, so does our preparing our community garden for winter. A tea party was the order of the day to celebrate this lovely growing space on campus and get a few gardening tasks ticked off.

Have you discovered our community garden yet?

Several previous community garden volunteers have moved on to pastures new and what with summer holidays and the heatwave, the garden has suffered a somewhat 'dry' spell! So there were plenty of jobs to be done to get the garden tidy and working again.

Remnants of our foxgloves hold all important seed for next year
The foxgloves which had given such a wondrous display earlier in the year have now died, so we ensured the seed was scattered in the beds before removing the dead stalks. Old courgette plants were dug out, strawberry runners were trimmed back and dead leaves removed - all good fodder for the community garden's compost heap. John tipped in some much-needed shredded paper and gave the heap a good mix to spur the micro-organisms into action.

All the old plants and cuttings were added to our compost to enrich the mix
Jen helped plant crocus bulbs on the sunny bank under the tree, later supplemented with tulip bulbs by Bruce and John.

A 'scatter-then-dig-where-they-fall' technique was used to achieve a natural look - assuming they will all  flower and not be found by squirrels!!

This sunny spot will be ideal for crocuses early next year

Popped into holes dug twice the depth of each bulb, the crocuses won't be apparent until January 
If we are lucky this will produce a glorious display of lilac, yellow and purple flowers in early spring. They will provide a vital source of food for bumblebees early in the year as their goblet shape is ideal for easy access.

A fine spread for our hard working gardeners!
Half time called for refreshments! And we tucked in to yummy banana and chocolate muffins and cherry cake, hot tea and juice. We were also able to taste some Kingston Hill grapes growing near the community garden - what a treat!

Next up, the old courgette and garlic bed needed attention. Weeds were pulled, and the soil dug over vigorously by Bruce and John. We saw plenty of worms indicating the soil is good and healthy.

Bruce and John got stuck in to break up the compacted soil and remove large lumps to prepare it for seeding
We sowed shallow rows of spring onion and rocket seeds suitable for sowing at this time of year. They should be ready to harvest from March onwards, so watch this space!

John carefully spaces out the seeds to give each one ample room to grow
They may need a bit of help to get through the frostiest spells, but a homemade cloche should do the trick. It will match our homemade yoghurt pot plant labels nicely!

Why not pop by next time you're passing and see how they're faring? And if you fancy growing anything there yourself do get in touch!

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