Saturday, 18 May 2013

Gardening Course at he Ford Park Walled Kitchen Garden

The second of the weekend gardening workshops today - 10.00 till 15.15 run by Sarah McCormack which are listed here, took place today with the next on Saturday June 22nd on Composting etc cost £30. (Sadly one reason so few take the course could be that the phone number given - 01229 588164 doesn't get answered - worth persevering).  Here is her interview:

With only two present we had superb tuition and practical sessions, a great lunch and all our many, many questions answered. I'm looking forward to the next which will give me extensive up to date knowledge for my allotment and care of the plants in Mill Dam Park which is all done by volunteers every Sunday morning.

For the first time in my life I feel I have been brought up to date with the most modern thinking in growing plants:
1. That digging can actually be damaging  to the soil. Maintaining good aeration of the soil is what is essential.  This can also be ensured by maintaining a good population of worms that do the work for us. Avoiding compacting the soil by treading on it is important. Double digging can be counterproductive
2. Watering an allotment can be harmful. Too ready a source of water which can lower soil temperature, if from the tap stunts, root growth. A lack of water encourages new plants to go looking for water by growing long roots. Plants can detect the humid air that accompanies rain so that they prepare themselves to absorb it. Conversely in a draught  plants can close down their systems so as to survive without water. Result very healthy and responsive plants.
3. The presence of weeds can actually be an advantage in that they can preserve the water content in the soil. People who carry out obsessive weeding and throw them away remove a valuable source of vegetable matter (as happens in my allotment).
4. Understanding how to enable plants to reproduce themselves as a clone of themselves - starting with an excellent original and producing endless replicas of the original - something impossible to achieve if you start with seeds of the same plant which will all be different.

Sarah is truly someone with an intimate knowledge of how plants function. No wonder her kitchen is so far advanced beyond any vegetable garden in Ulverston - if not the whole area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally support your comments.
Janet and I travelled as far as Coventry to Ryton Gardens the home of Henry Doubleday research centre to study organic growing.
Also C A T in mid wales they all preach WHAT IS A WEED?
Chemicals were only introduced to the garden after a redundant stockpile of chemical weapons were put on the market with amazing results but they have been proven short lived and harmful to nature and Man!
Disposal of infected plants should be composted correctly or incinerated. Heaps of diseased plants spread spores, moulds and other infections.
We are very lucky having Sarah locally spreading the word and judging the results she "KNOWS HER ONIONS"