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We have just started a small community plot in the centre of Brixton and are growing vegetables as well as plants for wildlife. It is in a very visible position. Can the team suggest a planting scheme that will look good whilst being productive, especially through the winter months? The plot is 2.6 by 2.3 metres.
The answers to this question were:
- Since there are quite a few vegs already, why not punctuate them with evergreen.
- plant winter hardy specimen like oregano, marjoram; and fennel in the spring.
- Visit Kensington Garden to get some inspiration fm their 1sq mtr mini allotments.
Some of the other questions were:
- Planting in winter:
- garlic (eat the leaves in salad in the spring – delicious – and harvest the bulb later);
- rocket (very winter hardy);
- broad beans;
- green manure (sow mustard and then dig in), cover with leaves or manure
- Shady area:
- salad (good in the shade, as in the sun they tend to bolt if they dry out),
- soft fruit (gooseberries, currants – often called ‘forest fruits’),
- Seed bombs: a variation is sowing seeds in cracks in the pavement or paths (useful as a weed suppressant)
- Raised beds / borders: in small gardens map the path of the sun, including at different times of the year, to help choose where to site them
- How to get local people interested in green activities:
- speak with schools and use it as an outing (they also tell their parents);
- organize an event, bonfire, Christmas fair;
- have cheap or free food (especially something made with the produce);
- have a good local speaker;
- have a consultation with people to see what they would like;
- look at Â www.planningforreal.org.uk and www.planningaidforlondon.org.uk;
- give away seeds (have a little budget for this, buying a big tray of bedding plants is cheaper than buying individual ones); plant seeds to sell (or give away) – a tray of 15-18 gives something useful.