A little bit of a lesson was thrown in this month as Annette showed the group how to propagate from a woody plant with a method known as marcotting, or air layering. It is a type of plant propagation that involves rooting of part of a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant. Marcotting reduces the time it takes for a new tree to produce fruit.
Our June seed savers group met 2 days after the winter solstice. From now on our days will start getting longer and warmer. Winter is coming to a close and it is now starting to get too late in the season to sow any cool-weather crops (June and July being the slowest months for sowing seeds) and still too early for sowing warm-weather crops. Our focus this month was not on sowing seeds, but mostly on transplanting seedlings from last month, propagating, seed cleaning and packaging.
Many trays of transplanted seeds were then taken to our new greenhouse at Baulkham Hills High School and also for members to buy at our next upcoming meeting night. The high school greenhouse will accommodate our surplus seedlings from Bidjiwong and distributed to various local school and community locations and given to blitz members for their garden makeovers.
For all of you gardeners at home, the slower June and July are great months to think about all the other jobs around your garden such as tool maintenance, topping up mulch, and general garden maintenance tasks.
At seed savers this month we had 20 members turn up including 5 new members and 3 children. We got straight to work transplanting bok choy, fennel, lettuce, mizuna, mustard, parsley, radish, rocket, and an unknown brassica plant. Many seedlings are extremely difficult to identify from other members of the same family and this unknown brassica seedling is a perfect example of why it is so important for us to label all our seedlings, and not to remove labels when taking our seedlings for home.
We harvested seeds from broad beans, carrot, nigella, radish, rocket, salsify, and salvia, as well as an unknown brassica variety (and again I say “label”, “label”, “label”!). We also harvested seeds from and propagated a plant called Ashwaganda.
Seed Savers meets 9am-1pm on the 4th Saturday of each month at Bidjiwong Community Nursery, Baulkham Hills. All welcome, with free seedlings to take home each month. You are welcome to attend 1 meeting to see if this group suits you, if so you can become a single member for $25, or family member for $30 a year. Becoming a member is for the purpose of insurance cover and venue hire when you do any activities with us. Children from 6 years are welcome at Seed Savers.