New beds for Eastern Suburbs training garden

TWO NEW GARDEN BEDS have been added to the Randwick City Council training garden at Randwick Community Centre, the site of Council's course in Sustainable Gardening.

The new beds have been constructed of recycled plastic - old printer cartridges and other components - and stabilised against UV light so that the material does not become brittle and degrade. The beds will trial the plastic to assess its value for garden construction.

Built by Steve Batley and his crew from Sydney Organic Gardens, the new beds complement the existing keyhole garden that has been used for the course to date.

Raised garden beds were recently addded to the training garden. Built of recycled plastic made from printer cartridges and other components and stabilised against UV light, the beds have been raised above the ground to provide access by less mobile students and to prevent dogs lifting their legs and irrigating them and spoiling the vegetables.

Raised garden beds were recently added to the training garden. Built of recycled plastic made from printer cartridges and other components and stabilised against UV light, the beds have been raised above the ground to provide access by less mobile students and to prevent dogs lifting their leg to irrigate the plants and spoil the vegetables.

The keyhole garden, used for the practical component of the training, was designed to accommodate course participants around its circumference and from its keyhole-shaped path. The path was made wider than would be found in a community garden allotment or a home garden to accommodate a number of students working on the garden at the same time.

The keyhole garden used by the Sustainable Gardening curse will be planted to perennial vegetables ad herbs now that two new garden beds have been constructed.

A Sustainable Gardening class around the keyhole garden. The garden will be planted to perennial vegetables and herbs now that the two new garden beds have been constructed.

Skilling-up in gardening basics

The Sustainable Gardening course aims to provide participants with basic skills so that they can get a start in home or community gardening.

Skills developed during the course include:

  • site ananysis
  • gardener needs analysis
  • garden design
  • soil improvement and management
  • compost making and troubleshooting
  • setting up, managing and troubleshooting a wormery
  • basic plant botany
  • plant propagation
  • water-conserving irrigation
  • integrated pest management
  • planting out and planting patterns
  • use of mulch.

The course has been offered for the past five years and has been taught by Council's Sustainability Education Officer, Fiona Campbell. Recently, Fiona has assisted Steve Batley (a landscape architect) and Emma Daniell to take over training while she maintains management of the course as a component of Council's Sustaining Our City program. Emma is a horticulturist and garden designer and a long-time member of Randwick Community Organic Garden.

The Sustainable Gardening course complements the household and community skills developed in Council's Living Smart course, a skilling-up course in sustainable living.

Information about the course can be fund by contacting Randwick City Council or by accessing the course catalog of the Eastern Suburbs Community College.

Update — November 2009

A few months after being planted out with seedlings, the new garden beds at the training garden were blooming.

National community gardens network people at the Randwick Community Centre training garden — (from left) Fiona Campbell, Sydney; Rob Allsop, Sydney; Ben Neil, Melbourne.

National community gardens network people at the Randwick Community Centre training garden — (from left) Fiona Campbell, Sydney; Rob Allsop, Sydney; Ben Neil, Melbourne.

Fiona adds dry leaves to increase the carbon content of a compost bin in the training garden.

Fiona adds dry leaves to increase the carbon content of a compost bin in the training garden.

Ben Neil checks out the veges and recycled plastic edging (made from printer cartridges) in a raised bed in the training garden.

Ben Neil checks out the veges and recycled plastic edging (made from printer cartridges) in a raised bed in the training garden.

Published in Gardens

Comments

  1. sandra quayle

    we are a housing group and we would like to start a raised veggie garden.
    how do we contact.
    sandi quayle,
    h. 9661 9910.
    m 0406 591 123

  2. jason Frank

    hey when is the next course

    thanks

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