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Community garden nutrient inputs

  • Subject: [cg] Community garden nutrient inputs
  • From: Tamsin Salehian tamsin@sparecreative.com
  • Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 12:01:09 +1100

Just a question I've been thinking about while visiting our garden and also
reading this list serve. How much 'stuff' (manures/compost
ingredients/soil...) do different gardens have to bring in to keep their
plots productive? As vegetable gardens are constantly harvested, is there a
way with only a small amount of land to make them as self-sufficient as
possible in the community garden context or is it preferable to take
advantage of what others consider wastes and use them? I'd be interested in
hearing what other gardens do...

Our story so far:
As our garden is quite young (cultivated for 6 months now) we feel that we
should bring in more to feed the soil and are contemplating what we'll need.
Ideally we'd like to rely on compost and some manures but so far we donšt
have enough plant material make enough compost, and as our soils are a
strange mixture of sand, seashells and little clumps of clay we really need
to build up organic matter in the soil. Before summer started we purchased
bales of pea straw from a farmer after harvest and a giant bag of 'dynamic
lifter' (manure), as a group this was our main input to the garden.

Our garden tries to plan issues as a group and learn from each other so we
are having a group meeting to discuss what we want to do as a group and
individually. This season everyone has had different techniques from
collecting stable manure/leaves/seaweed to buying branded organic
manures/fish emulsion/seaweed emulsion from stores. Digging down the soil
texture looks like it will take a while or a lot of 'stuff' to change -
which is a beautiful process to be part of.

I'd be interested to hear how other community gardens tackle this, or
whether it is an issue at all...


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