A Place of Learning: For Natural Learning

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Seeds and a Spade June 2015

Okeover Community Garden at Canterbury University

If you want visit Okeover Community Garden winter open times are Friday 1-4pm as the main working bee… and there is a working bee on Tuesday 2- 4pm , open to university staff, students and the wider community.

Seven Oaks School

Check out their web site http://www.sevenoaks.school.nz/

Making a No Dig Garden

If you want to start a new garden in spring now is the time to begin.  The easiest way to do this is to make a mulching or lasagne garden. It is called a lasagne garden because like the pasta dish it is made in layers. This is the best way to make a new garden as all the soil organisms get fed and make your soil alive and perfect for plants. No digging required because the billions of soil creatures do all the work for you. Easy.

Firstly choose your site carefully. It needs to have plenty of sun and access to water. Next decide how big you want the garden. If you are a beginner 2m x 2m is big enough.

Secondly you need to collect your materials. You need green stuff which may include: lawn clippings, weeds, garden clippings veggie scraps, sea weed, horse manure, tea leaves, and  coffee grounds. A note of warning do not put clippings from ivy in the garden or you will end up with an ivy garden It takes over. And you need brown stuff which includes straw, shredded paper, untreated saw dust, and old leaves. You also need to collect newspapers or old cardboard. And you will need a bag of garden lime.


Thirdly mark out your garden site and cover it with  news papers as if you are laying tiles on a roof. Make sure you leave no gaps for the grass and weeds to grow through. It is a good idea to sprinkle the paper with water


Fourthly cover the newspaper with a layer of green stuff e.g. sea weed or manure. Then add a layer of brown stuff. You need to fluff up the straw and leaves so that there is plenty of air in them.  Add a layer of green stuff.  Sprinkle on some lime. Sprinkle it like icing sugar on a cake. Lightly.  Continue until you have 3-4 layers. If your straw is dry moisten it by sprinkling it with water from a watering can. The straw needs to be just moist.


The optimal lasagne garden will have brown layers twice as deep as the green layers but if you cannot get enough brown stuff you don’t need to worry as long as you have brown stuff.

The garden is complete when it is about 60 cm high. That’s it. Done.  Leave until spring. It will sink down a lot. If your garden has a good compliment of blackbirds you will need to cover the garden with a net or else you will wake up in the morning to find your work scattered everywhere.  When spring comes, plant seedlings straight in.

Good places to buy your seeds from

Have fun browsing over winter with



Organic Gardneing Events

Packe Street Park and Community Garden

  Matariki Celebration

There is a  Winter working bee Sunday 21st June 10 am – 4 pm, 125 Packe St

Bring-a-plate for shared lunch at 12 noon.

Main jobs include: pruning the fruit trees, turning compost, raking leaves, preparing the garden for the next growing season and having fun. See aplaceflearning.co.nz seeds and a spade/ june for details

The Simple Organic Gardening Course

This is held at at Delta Community Gardens. This hands on gardening course is for home gardeners. September 29 – 17 November 6 – 8 pm.

To book in email me mary@aplaceoflearning.co.nz.


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