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  • Carol Bannister

A Frustrated Gardener

While waiting (and waiting) for my house to be built I am renting a tiny flat nearby. There was no productive garden - just this untamed "lawn". It was frustrating, adjusting from growing my own herbs and veges to growing absolutely nothing. Not even a sprig of rosemary for cooking or stalk of mint for my salads. As I have a burning desire to grow my own veges and start sourcing plants for my new garden, I decided to make the best of what space there was.. "Could I create a straw bale raised vege bed AND use the rest of the area as a plant nursery?" I wondered.....here is what happened:

OUTDOOR SPACE BEFORE:

Harnessing nature, I made use of 4 weeks of the hot October sun and black polythene, instead of using nasty chemical sprays. This effectively killed off all the "grass". The green matter rotted into the soil, providing a natural nutrient boost. The area was later forked over to remove persistent weeds and suddenly I had usable garden space.


Six pea straw bales on their edge became my vege patch. Over 4 weeks, they were watered, innoculated with microbes and fertiliser. Then I planted the bales with a handful of potting mix for each plant. Finally I had access to the fresh herbs and veges.that I was craving. Why straw bales? Because I am renting, they make a great instant garden, keep their shape for a season and will compost down, leaving beautiful soil and no trace of a garden when I move out. Win, win, win all round.


Over the past 18 months, I have sourced plants from online nurseries all over NZ to create a food forest ecosystem. This area is now crammed full of plants: my garden-in-waiting. Finally I have achieved my plant nursery. In the next post, I'll show you how the area has changed. Stand by - it's dramatic!

TEMPORARY GARDEN IN PROGRESS:


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