Mia's First Day in Sustainable Chippendale
By Yulan(Mia) Li
As a green hand in gardening, my first time working in Chippendale road garden was absolutely a rich and helpful experience. The skills I learned include watering, pruning, composting. I also got some knowledge about how to achieve sustainability through gardening.
My first work was watering plants on both side of the road with the help of Jess. We used recycled water(it may also be called ‘greywater’). I learned from Jess that it is the root that needs access to water, not the leaves. Wetting foliage can be a waste of water.
We pruned kaffir lime and comfrey planted on roadside. The key point in pruning trees and shrubs is that always making an angled cut just above and sloping away from a viable bud. In this way we cut some offending branches that have blocked sunlight and take in too much nutrient. Comfrey is a kind of perennial herb and the pruning method is different from that of trees or shrubs. Basically we removed the stems from the comfrey.
Refer to http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/landscaping/implement/pruning_perennials.html for more information.
Auguring the compost
We moved the stuff in the compost bin on the street to the bins in backyard and aerated them with auger in order to encourage air circulation. The compost system is decaying well. I saw both brown materials such as moistened cardboard, egg containers, dry leaves, as well as green materials such as green leaves, garden clippings, and vegie scraps. They together provide sufficient carbon and nitrogen that are beneficial to balanced compost. It was good to see so many worms in the compost because they accelerate the decay and help function more efficiently.
Refer to http://www.sgaonline.org.au/the-science-of-composting/ and http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4439784.htm for more information.
Life circle – Turning green waste into composts
We shredded the fresh green pruning (both limbs and leaves) and broke bulks of banana tree roots into small pieces then added them into compost bins. We soaked the pruning in water and after a few days they will produce a ready-to-use ‘compost tea’ that can be soil conditioner. We add banana tree root into compost bins and stirred well.
Refer to http://www.sgaonline.org.au/compost-worm-and-weed-teas/ for more information.