By Nick Condron
It’s been a slow process of evolution away from more commonly advocated horticultural methods of late but, inspired by the example of such long standing pioneers as Charles Dowding, the author of ‘No Dig,’ we are finally embracing the no-dig philosophy across even more of our wonderful garden here in its walled corner of Northdown Park, Margate.
Following the success of our experiment this year with growing our outdoor tomatoes in a no dig bed, that simply had composted organic matter added to its surface before being covered in black sheeting during the off-season, we are going to apply the same practice to several more of our vegetable beds.
As discussed here previously, this preserves soil structure and enables natural processes driven by soil organisms to work their magic and create a superior growing medium for planting and raising our crops organically and importantly, more naturally. The whole effect also produces a more natural aesthetic, healthier, happier plants and a higher crop yield, besides allowing us more time to focus more of our attention on the plants themselves who after all are the real stars of the garden, along with the undisturbed earthworms and scores of fellow organisms.
It’s an opportune moment to survey the newly planted trees in Northdown Park that we’ve been caring for and watering throughout the year. The vast majority have taken well and are showing good signs of growing on despite the challenges of the drought through the summer, which were alleviated by the vigilant attention of Brian, Ollie, Michael and our large mobile water bowser in particular. There are various numbers of Oak, Burr, Beech, Hazel, Aspen, Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Birch, Rowan and Cotton Willow planted in locations across the park. Their location has been carefully considered, to enhance the biodiversity and tree cover in this park, whilst not impacting the spaces people enjoy within it. They already are and will continue to enhance the park for many years to come.
The planting was made possible by the #IDigTrees phenomenon with @TCVtweets and @OVO Energy helping communities plant 2 MILLION carbon-busting #trees! plus donations of time and money to Thanet Biodiversity (on Facebook), who consulted and obtained consent from Thanet District Council. Thanks to every single person that helped make it possible.
Our seed sowing, germination, pricking out and growing on of spring bedding has been progressing apace over the last couple of months. We have plenty of all the usual suspects to look forward to planting out in our flower beds and containers including wallflowers, sweet Williams and bellis perennis daisies. Paired with tulips, daffodils and other favourite spring bulbs, come March and April, they will herald the arrival of spring and provide us with colourful flowers through to the start of summer.
If you’re planting your own bulbs, then do please be sure to look back over previous year’s articles in which we’ve considered best practice and shown the effects that we’ve consistently achieved.
I hope you all enjoy the best of October’s weather for getting your outdoor work done. Happy gardening!
Brilliant work it is a fabulous place
Will you be replacing the ones that did not make it through the dry summer. If not I will be happy to supply them to you!
Northdown Parrots, your offer is appreciated. Could you find and contact us via Facebook?
Have I missed the open day? I would love to see what you have done
Our huge thanks to all at The Garden Gate Project for their fantastic help and care of the saplings planted in Northdown Park.