TRADITIONAL GARDENING METHODS
Today we begin a series of posts with the help of Winnipeg’s own Traditional Grower, Audrey Logan. She has kindly agreed to offer up her wisdom and methods to assist in what we hope will become a very fruitful union.
We started with a tour of some of the Community Gardens Audrey is in charge of. Here we discussed multiple crop placement, self seeding and soil preparation techniques. By leaving plants in place over the winter with a heavy leaf mulch the soil is both nourished and moisture retention is greatly improved. Any beneficial organisms and insects remain with the plants were they continue their good work into the fall and will “resurrect” in spring to begin anew. Leaf mulch feeds and attracts worms which every gardener knows are worth their weight in gold.
We examined new lettuce leaves sprouting for a third time this season in the “leafy veg” bed. Those along with Dill that has self seeded this fall show just how much more productive and long lived these gardens can become. One frustration for Audrey is people not realizing that many plants are indeed perennial in nature and need not be planted yearly.
We also talked about combining compatible plants in the same plot to take advantage of space, time and energy. For example, if you plant lettuce, radishes and beets together, by the time your lettuce is ready, the radishes are starting. When they are done the beets have taken up the available space. This way weeds have no opportunity to take hold and you’ve really used your space wisely.
Audrey showed off plants to numerous to include today but one important lesson was how very different a mature plant can be when compared to its younger version. Most conventional gardeners don’t let plants mature for long enough year by year to note these remarkable changes.
As we carry on with this “apprenticeship” look forward to many interesting posts and pictures and THANK YOU Audrey.