Nowadays it seems like gardening is back in fashion and given the price of broccoli at the store, those who were not typically green thumbs are even thinking about giving it a go. The trouble with Tolmie is if you are not a seasoned resident, it’s very easy to get burned by the gardening advice you will receive online and on TV. Gardening is all about microclimates and what works in Melbourne might not work here in Tolmie. In Tolmie, you’ll also find different growing conditions on the ridge at top of Tabletop than you will find in the frost hollow near the sports ground.
I know! I’ve been the new Tolmie resident who, eager to get my hands in my new dirt, have planted and then lamented as trees have died of frost, veges have been mowed by the local wildlife and fruit bounty has flown off with the birds. But I persist, because the health benefits and flavor (and face it self satisfied pride) of seeing the food on your plate has come from YOUR garden, is reward enough.
This section is for the Tolmie die-hard gardeners and soon-to-be gardeners, to learn what works, what doesn’t (without a greenhouse), when we are all planting and harvesting. I want to encourage locals to share advice and swap excess seeds, seedlings, produce and scions and any leftovers we can also share with the Mansfield Fresh food drive. Maybe as the weather warms we can organise some local get-togethers, garden visits and maybe even learn to graft.
Things to Do in August: For those without greenhouses, it’s really still too early to be planting outdoors yet – except bareroot trees, get them in NOW! Focus on starting indoors, planning your season and maintenance of your tools for the upcoming season. Build your soil for Spring. Add compost and sow a green manure crop to add nitrogen to the soil – turn it into the soil in early spring before flowering and sow plants 6 weeks later. Order your spring seeds and seed potatoes. Obtain asparagus, rhubarb crowns and summer bulbs. Prune dormant fruit trees and roses, removing suckers below the graft union. Spray your fruit trees for leaf curl and fungus diseases. Patience…enjoy the first jonquils and daffodils.