IT’S winter mulching time at Manna Community Garden on the corner of Court and Hyland Streets in Foster.
Finely shredded plant matter was being generously applied over a thick layer of old newspapers around the citrus and banana grove in the south-eastern corner of the garden, near the rear wall of the historic Foster Police stables building.
Volunteer gardener and conservation and land management student Fiona of Yanakie was effectively wielding a shovel, wheelbarrow and rake in the garden last week, distributing a mountain of mulch donated by the South Gippsland Shire Council.
A relative newcomer to the Corner Inlet district, Fiona said she had been delighted by the warm welcome she had received from both the Manna Garden Group and from the Manna Gum Community House next door.
“When I first came to this area earlier in the year, I called in to the Community House and met [Manna Gum community development director] Bec Matthews and [Manna Garden co-ordinator] Juneen Schulz,” Fiona said.
“I have a background in gardening, my Mum is a gardener and I love it, too!”
The Manna Garden’s grapefruit, cumquat, orange and lemon trees are bright with ripening fruit and the pruning secateurs and saws have been busy on the other fruit trees; apple, cherry, feijoa, nashi, plum, tamarillo and strawberry guava.
Silver beet, chard and cauliflower are still coming on, alongside thyme, parsley, fennel, bay and nasturtium.
Garden co-ordinator Juneen said “August marks the end of winter, the days are getting longer, and spring is just around the corner.
“We are relocating some of our raised vegetable and herb beds and individual plots at the moment as well as adding nutrients to the soil and mulching,” she said.
“There are lots of vegetables that can be planted now, including broad beans, peas, lettuces, cabbage, radish, cress, endive, spring onions and potatoes,” she said.
“It’s also time to check seed stocks for the coming summer.”
The Manna Garden Group meets at Trev’s Shed in the garden every Monday from 10 am to 12 noon, and all new members will be greeted and quickly put to work!For more information about the Manna Community Garden contact co-ordinator Juneen Schulz on 0427 809 509.