Surviving summer session notes

By Ulla Norden

surviving summer

Notes and resources from our end of year session

About 20 people attended our last session of the year on Thursday 29th November, including quite a few new faces. The session run by Anna Sullivan kicked off with a quick icebreaker where each member introduced themselves and also very briefly told about their success story in the garden. All people were happy to share a short story on their garden, and it was clear that tomatoes were one of the most successful stories.

This was followed by Anna doing a presentation on “Seed saving, Propagation and Surviving the summer” based on some of Lou Bull’s slides from a previous workshop.

Wicking beds were also a hot topic and mention was made of an upcoming workshop on wicking beds at the SAC on 8th December.

We then had a discussion about how much mulch to use. Too much mulch can hinder rain in penetrating into the soil. However one option is to scrape some of the mulch aside if we are expecting rain.

What mulch should we use? Here it was suggested to focus on local mulch in order to reduce the “food miles” or rather transport costs.

As an alternative to wicking beds it was suggested to line a raised garden bed (the corrugated iron ones) with sheep dags. These will both help retain moisture and also release nutrients into the soil.

There was a discussion on fruit fly prevention and I believe the general consensus was to use exclusion netting. Read more information about fruit fly prevention/control here. It was also noted that Lou Newman is a local distributor and is able to provide custom lengths of netting. Her contact details are: phone 0408 709 960 or email

After this the seed bank was open for deposits and withdrawals. There were also numerous seedlings available (especially tomatoes) for members to take home.

Thank you for everyone attending and bringing seedlings and food for all to enjoy.­

Big thanks, too, to Ulla for taking and sharing these notes from the session.

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