Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Tooting Community Garden: The 6 rotational beds this May/June

Tooting Community Garden 

Have a read of our plans for the 6 rotational beds this May/June. Join in and have a go at propagating some basil, or making some homemade fertiliser for your own plants or to bring to the garden when we re-open. 

PLANT OF THE MONTH: The Roveja Bean 

A very ancient variety of peas originating in the Middle east, today cultivated in only in a few Appenine regions in Italy. Thanks also to its relatively problem-free cultivation this variety has been rediscovered in recent years and grows well in the UK. 

The plants are semi-dwarf - you can let them sprawl, but we'd suggest supporting them with pea sticks or low netting for the best crop. They are absolutely beautiful, with bi-coloured pink-purple flowers fading to pale pink/white as they age. They're allowed to mature and dried, then used for delicious winter soups and stews.

We sourced this seed from the Real Seeds company in Wales and look forward to harvesting the beans and also saving the seeds for next year! We sowed them indoors and planted them out in April. 

GROWING OPPORTUNITIES THIS MAY/JUNE 
  • Companions to bring to our plants 
  • Swiss Chard for our runner beans 
  • Nasturtiums for our runner beans 
  • Coriander for our potatoes 
  • Sunflowers for our squash 
  • Palm kale for our oak leaf lettuce 
  • Nigella for our garlic and onions 
  • Rocket for our garlic and onions 
  • Summer savoy for our garlic and onions 
  • Basil for our tomato plants 

New spaces created this June 
  • Parsnips seeds once the broad beans are harvested 
  • Cucamelons seedlings once the Japanese onions are harvested 
  • Squash plants once the green manure has been dug in and 3 weeks have past 
  • Carrots and turnip seeds once the garlic is harvested 
  • Tomato seedlings once the garlic and onions are harvested 

GUIDES TO HELP US ALONG THE WAY 

Green manure 

Benefits and how and when to dig over https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/green-manures 

How to propagate basil 
Basil from a cutting
Basil from a cutting: https://zerowastechef.com/2017/08/15/how-to-grow-basil-from-cuttings/ 

Basil from a seed: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/herbs/basil 

Basil by dividing a mature plant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAvzV-hNxdI 


Homemade fertilisers for our tomato and squash plants 
Comfrey, nettles, weeds and manure https://www.permaculture.co.uk/readers-solutions/how-make-organic-liquid-fertiliser 

Nettle tea: https://www.soils-permaculture-lebanon.com/our-blog-articles-diy/nettle-tea-brew-your-own-liquid-natural-fertilizer 

WATERING
At the garden we have only as much water as the sky gives us. To limit our water use we are watering only: 
Seeds that haven’t yet germinated; and 
Seedlings less than 3 weeks old 

We are using leaf mulch and cover crops on our over plants to reduce evaporation and increase water retention.

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