It’s the weekend after the 1st day of Chinese New Year. We don’t have many neighbours turning up at the garden for this session. It’s really still the Chinese New Year season, so it’s quite expected! Decided to have a group session anyway, as we would like to complete garden creation in Mar, and the plants would appreciate a weekly “check-up” from us. :)
Wanted to start creating bio-swales this weekend but our volunteer designer, Debbie, was not feeling well. Three contract workers have been assigned to help us this morning, so we got them to continuing digging the pit garden. The pit garden is designed to be of about 2m in diameter, and of 70cm depth. It will connect a pond (to be created), to bioswales leading to the lower parts of the garden.
More info on the pit garden when it’s ready!
Black bean aphids:
We still have quite a problem with the black bean aphids. A few neighbours had turned up with lemon rind spray and chilli spray to try to reduce the spread, but it was quite obvious that the aphids had spread from 1 end of the pergola to another. Without rain (we have currently experiencing a dry spell) and a water supply to jet the aphids, is there be a suitably ecologically-sound method to solve this problem? Steven and Cuifen discussed about removing the bean plants and starting again, but Dennis pointed out that the aphids will be back when we do so.
There is hope yet! We spotted a few ladybirds on the long bean plants. Not many, but definitely there are more now than previously. Debbie had advised us to buy a marigold plant to attract ladybirds, as they will feed on the aphids. Holding off the purchase for now as we think there may be some neighbours willing to donate marigold plants post-CNY.
Dennis and Lydia are doing a really good job with the herb spiral! They were adding “cement” made from clay, sand, water to stabilise the brick structure. They also distributed more soil where it’s needed – it’s really an art I think, because the clay and soil mix various throughout the length of the herb spiral.
Some other new developments in the garden…
Some avid gardeners in our community feedbacked that they will take more ownership of the garden if only they had their own space to create and take responsibility in.
One of these neighbours is Mr. Teo. He is an active gardener in another community garden, and has been involved in setting up community gardens previously. We allocated him the space of one pergola and a wicking bed.
Here’s what came up within a few days; love how the garden seems to be growing organically!
- Transformation of a rectangular wicking bed to a figure of 8.
- Multiple plants in a small space – lettuce, sweet potato, winter melon, shallots, chilli, passion fruit
- Extensions to the existing pergola
- Re-making of the raised beds, with extensions of pathways