news & events
Stories from our gardners experiences, workshops to learn new skills, events coming up, reports on issues, and more. See what is happening and planned in our garden.
TOP TIPS from our gardeners who share their experience
everyone loves tomatoes, growing them successfully has some challenges
Our current President Rob Joyner, one of the gardens founders, presented his top tips for growing great tasting varieties in a 10-minute workshop recently. Here's the secrets from years of planting and nurturing.
"Everyone wants to grow tomatoes. They are prolific and great to eat all year round. Originally a South American plant they are from the solanaceae family. There are many varieties, but two main types... determinant and indeterminent. I've been trying for the perfect tomato for 10 years or more! Here's what seems to work"
No issues growing them. They grow themselves! The major challenges for great tomatoes are:
1. Don’t plant on previous solanaceae site.
2. Water the base of the plant - keep leaves dry.
3. Minimise pruning. But remove dead leaves. Trim out laterals to promote upward growth (see Gardening Australia's 4 minute clip at )
4. Prepare the soil before planting, and feed with compost.
5. Support on trellis or stakes. Tie and support the plant with cloth ties (old shredded TShirts are great)
The overriding problem issue is fruit fly infestation. Many tactics have been tried but none have been successful. You can see more on the fruit fly menace at this video clip from Gardening Australia clip by Jerry Colby Williams on recommended control tactics.:
Rob's conclusions & recommendations:
1. Plant early September each year.
2. Select cherry, Tommy Toes, or similar.
3. Destroy damaged / fallen fruit.
4. Pick when turning from green to first blush.
5. Ripen at home, but not in the sun.
6. Don’t refrigerate. Cook and freeze for use throughout the year.
Here's some more tips... Suggestions from Gardening Australia's Tino in Tassie
(a truly harsh tomato climate). His TOP 5 planting tips are:
1 Soil Preparation
Soil conditioners like sheep manure and cow manure can be used, but Tino likes to use compost with a handful of blood and bone.
Spacing: 1 metre x 1 metre
Depth: Slightly deeper than existing soil level of seedling in pot.
Use Potash to promote growth. First: Approx 2 tablespoons at planting
Second: Approx 2 tablespoons when fruit first emerges
Third: of a handful when the plant is tall and laden with fruit.
Once a week – give your plants a long, slow, deep water. Consistent water is the key. Water the roots (tomatoes hate their leaves staying wet!)
Staking: Determinant or bush types don't need any training. Indeterminant or climbing types do.
Tino recommends staking at the time of planting (which avoids piercing the roots) using 3 to 4 stakes to surround the plant.
Finally, Pruning: Tino leaves the lateral stems on the plant when they are young. As the plant grows, he selects the three strongest laterals and ties them to the stakes and removes all the others (Another Tip: You can replant the laterals and water them in to grow additional plants).
Remove leaves that are in contact with the ground. This reduces pests and diseases accessing the plant and also promotes upward growth.
You can watch these tips live at )
LUNAR TIPS (or was that trips)...
Djo takes us on an adventure with the influences of the Moon on plants and...
Unpredictable as ever Djo, our resident escapee from France, launched his presentation on things "Lunar" with a harmonica solo of Debussey's Clare de Lune. What else would you expect from this mischief maker with the audience on the edge of their seats, wiping eyes with mirth as Djo teased out some facts and fables about the moon and it's affects... on cultures, on people, musicians and even humble gardeners from Neolithic times.
The tides were talked of, inter-stellar exploration, even romantic influences. Djo pursued a cyclical route to the perceived affects of lunar light and plant growth, and possible application by gardeners who like to work by night, or in in the cool of twilight. When you boil it down to the "Moon Planting Tips for Success" the folklore seems to indicate that:
• crops that grow, blossom and fruit above ground should be planted in an ascending moon phase, ie ever brighter/bigger moon promtes above ground crops,
• Veggies that grow sub-surface, like potatoes, carrots, beetroot, radishes for example do better and grow more robustly when planted on a waning moon, ie reducing from full to dark or crescent moon.
So loonies, now you know about as much as any of us when the subject of lunar planting comes up.
How to build your plot - ready to plant in just 3 minutes
two 'green' gardeners Colm & Bobby's timelapse video shows all
Preparing your new garden plot can seem complex, but by using layers of carbon with layers of nitrogen interleaved, add a few extra measures to delight the worms, a little more manure from the stables, a few more layers, then a top coat of mulch, just add water and your patch will be ready in no time as these enthusiatic new gardners Colm & Bobby (who joined just last year) set out to show in this fun video. Watch and learn, and enjoy!
Look they're harvesting already.
Understand how our website works, learn how to use a 'dynamic HTML editor' -be inspired to do more on the net
a one & a half hour plain-speak, hands-on workshop - Garden members only
Another "how to" session is planned later this year to show our gardeners how to use a 'Content Management System'... that is an easy-peasy software tool in a clever design template to update text, add photos, update our gallery, add events to the news pages, create links to other sites, add a video or a slideshow, update our planting guides, or connect with social media. It is an introduction, on a large screen with practice sessions for those who want to understand more and join our 'Team V'... the virtual gardeners who keep our website alive, healthy and growing.
Contact our green web guru, Bruce Druery via email on to find out when our next session is running.
An ordinary member contemplates the view from Plot C
Ordinary member Stephen Walter shares his view of why gardening can stimulate growth...
Ordinary and Casual also describe my very free form of gardening at the PCG. I'm one of only two or three members who don't have their own plot, so all of my efforts are in tandem with my coworkers in Plot C. This is a wonderful way to learn to garden. It means that when things are going - and growing - great, you can claim at least a portion of the credit.
And when instead Plot C looks like it's been visited simultaneously by all Ten Plagues of Egypt, you can assign all the blame to your co-gardeners.Some may wonder why anyone would bother becoming a member of a community garden if they didn't want their own plot. Despite growing up on a dairy farm, where the results of my parents gardening were eaten at almost every meal, I never bothered to learn even the basics of growing fruit and vegetables. My thumb, unlike my politics, never turned even the palest shade of green.../