Time: September 21, 2014 from 9am to 11am
Location: Park Ridge
Street: 142 Stoney Camp Road
City/Town: Park Ridge
Website or Map: https://goo.gl/maps/eXaxU
Event Type: garden, visit
Organized By: Liz Woods
Latest Activity: Sep 21, 2014
In September, Roger and Brenda Clark welcome us to the five acre Park Ridge property where they have lived for 35 years as their blog attests.
Theirs is an unusual situation. They have plenty of space to establish fruit trees and grow the vegetables which supply their kitchen, but Roger has reverted to container gardening to achieve productivity. He has done this to overcome the challenges of a shallow sandy/clay soil, limited water and animal pests, among other constraints.
Roger's containers range from large commercial planters, raised garden beds lined with metal sections (white ants ate the original hardwood ones), bathtubs, laundry tubs, polystyrene boxes, sacks and a commercially available raised bed. This approach allows him to prepare a more fertile soil suited to the plants he wants to grow, as well as conserve water. Roger and Brenda have a plentiful local supply of weed-free horse manure which Roger composts and uses as one of the ‘lasagne’ style soil layers in his containers, along with the local soil and mushroom compost. He fertilises with blood and bone, rock dust and some trace elements. His soil attracts large earthworms which do a great job of blending the growing mediums.
Roger grows some fruit trees/bushes in large pots which improves his control of pH and plant nutrition. His potted Blueberries, Avocados and Figs are all giving good results.
From the outset, Roger maintained records of the treatments he used for different crops and the outcomes. A simple A - Z indexed book was his original way of recording but he has moved onto a system based on diagrams of his growing areas. On a three monthly cycle, Roger updates his record of the crops he has produced in each container and rotates the crops to pre-empt issues with pathogens. He has also compiled an alphabetical collection of articles relevant to crops he produces, to inform his gardening efforts.
To address the shallow soil issue on their property, Roger and Brenda planted their fruit trees into mounds of soil and interplanted mostly Leucaena and some Icecream Bean, to help fix nitrogen in the soil. Roger also mulches with Leucaena mulch. However currently, the winter season and the lack of good rainfall throughout 2014, along with Roger and Brenda’s limited tank water and the high cost of town water mean that their main orchard area is currently dormant and their trees are having to survive unaided.
There is a lot to learn in Roger's productive garden, for gardeners in all settings.
When you join us in Park Ridge, please bring:
There is plenty of parking on the property.
Your contribution of between $3 and $5 per person helps Logan Food Gardeners Inc to cover its costs.
Partners and children are welcome, but please do not bring dogs or other pets to events, except where prior approval has been given by the events committee.
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