Community garden plot

12 April 2018
One of the hardest parts of leaving our Adelaide life was letting go of my amazing garden. We bought our home in an established suburb that was home to many migrant Greeks and so we inherited a backyard that was all garden with plenty of fruit trees and vegie patches.

Over the five years there I managed to build the garden up to a point that it supplied most of our veg and fruit needs for day to day eating and some preserving. We were not self sufficient at all, but the closest I've ever been on the fruit and veg front.

My Adelaide garden in late Autumn last year.

We are now renting in Canberra and most of my growing is happening in pots as I ran through in my garden post last month. But all that is about to change as I've managed to secure a local community garden plot. Yay!

I had put my name down late last year but there was nothing available. However, just before Easter I was notified that there was now a plot available. So, after a quick tour of the garden and tossing it up I decide to take the plunge.

I'm now the proud gardener of 45 square metres of couch grass. Not so much yay....

My couch plot - I did inherit a globe artichoke and some bronze fennel.

In the pic above you can see my plot in the foreground and some of the gardens behind. I've got my work cut out for me, that's for sure.

Last week I started digging a patch to clear the grass and as many runners as I can. I started with a 2x5m strip (the garden is 9x5m) and have finally gotten to the end this week.

The next step in my plan is to plant my garlic, potato onions and broad beans out. If I have any extra space left I'll add in some advanced brassica seedlings or leafy greens. Then I'll just keep on clearing in similar sized strips until I reach the end. Depending on the time I'll either plant some green manure crops to improve the soil or once it's too cold I'll cover with cardboard/newspaper and mulch to keep the couch at bay.

In good news this unseasonably warm autumn weather means my planting window is still open.

So, that's what I've been up to.  I'll still be planting a lot around home in pots but this will give me a lot more ground space....once you can see the ground that is.

What challenges have you taken on recently in the garden or life?
Any advice for organic couch grass eradication?




8 comments

  1. Congratulations Laura on securing yourself a garden. That's quite large by community garden standards isn't it? We will be waiting for many more posts about your progress with growing. Yay indeed!! :-)

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    1. Thanks Sally, yes the garden plots do seem to be pretty large at this particular garden. Many of the long-termers even have fruit trees growing in their plots. The progress will be slow but I'll keep you posted.

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  2. Hi Laura, your Adelaide garden looked terrific. I am from Adelaide myself and I know we owe a lot to our migrant neighbours especially their gorgeous gardens. The best bit of advice I have about your encroaching grass is that once you have cleared an area, surround it with strips of timber that have been put on top of actual weed mat to create a barrier. Dig your long ditch to fit the timber strip, lay the mat in it and either side of it, then place the timber strip on top. This has worked the best for us. Heavy mulching on the garden side also helped. Then just pull out any wayward runners as they appear. I look forward to seeing your progress!

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    1. Thanks Lisa, it was a pretty great garden. The food culture in Adelaide has also benefited so much from the migrant population there. I really miss the easy access to good quality fresh foods and also amazing European products.
      Thanks for the tips on the grass. Many of the gardens seem to have good timber edging so they may well be implementing your advice too.

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  3. It's great that you have scored yourself a plot in the community garden, Laura. I'm looking forward to seeing what you grow and cook with once your plot's up and running. There's a fairly new little community garden just up the road from me. I've been to visit and it's great to see all the raised beds with produce now growing in them. Meg:)

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    1. Yes, it's super exciting. The plots are pretty inspiring around me and I've already managed to score a few vegie offloads from my gardening companions which is a bonus. Hopefully I can return the sharing once the garden is up and running.

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  4. I did the whole cardboard and mulch thing and it worked great 18 months later and no grass has ever come back through

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    1. That's good to know - I've had success with cardboard and mulch before on standard weeds but not runner grass so I'm glad to know it works.

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