30-day gardening challenge

There's a lot of avid gardeners out there and we have followed quite a few of you over the years. One group embarked on a 30-day gardening challenge. Their aim was to learn and implement something new every day. Here are some more photos and experiences from SALLY PIPER, the driving force behind the idea.

Backyard produce at the local store - The Lane, Palmwoods

Want to get your garden really humming while improving your skills? Why not start your own 30-day gardening challenge? Get your family and friends involved too, and please keep us posted with your photos and stories by sending images to us via our Facebook page. Here's what happened on three days of our challenge:

Day 1

Kerrie lending a hand building Sally's compost heap

Today we had our first garden meeting for us ladies on the hill. More of a food fest to start off with, but very busy and chatty. What an amazing wealth of knowledge between the five of us! It was so good to brainstorm together and share ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm. An idea I thought I could use in my garden was using hay bales as an edge for a mandala garden. The only thing stopping me from starting the garden is finding a safe relocation for the fire pile. On Saturday I will visit the Yandina Community Garden to check out their mandala garden. Through brainstorming we were also able to come up with a location for a three bay compost heap on my property. If I can master composting on a large scale I will really feel like a gardener.

We trundled over the hill to Julie's place, just recently built, and she was able to show us her amazing Cobb oven she had built, using rocks, hay and clay from the property. She has also started a raised garden bed for her veggies and herbs, having recently installed a water tank. She is still considering whether to embark on the 30 day garden challenge.

We decided to meet up again next week (Julie's place next time) and then meet up fortnightly.

Julie's cob oven

Linda had collated a whole heap of household and cooking tips for lemon usage, as we often have surplus. She was good enough to run copies off for everyone. What a great idea. Thanks so much Linda! I'll be reading mine tonight.

Ordered some grass mulch, 30 bales for me 20 for Linda, to be delivered on Saturday. It'll be good to start the mulching cycle off again.

Transplanted a couple of lettuce seedlings to keep the cycle going on the verandah.

Planted some climbing bean seeds (purple giant).

Day 2

Sally's Mandala Garden comes to life

The hay arrived this morning, so I'll have lots to do this coming week.

Did some weeding, pruning, put four bales of hay out.

Went to the Yandina community garden with Mark to check out the mandala garden. The mandala garden wasn't looking at its best as it's more of a summer garden where it’s placed for sun, but it was good to see the design and have a think about it. The rest of the garden was looking good, a lot more productive than when I had last visited, several years ago. We saw three people we knew volunteering there. Got some good ideas for bamboo use. Bought some French sorrel. Will visit again next Saturday when they have their open day, and am considering going out through the week with Wendy to volunteer. They are starting up a kid's garden which will interest Lauren. They have a large hydroponic area which will be fascinating to learn about, and I am keen to see how they manage their composting bays.

Mark did some hedging when we got home and we planted a couple of fruit trees.

Linda popped over with some more plants and pots. Looking forward to finding a spot in the garden for the orchids. Thanks Linda! Luckily this time I was able to give a few bromeliads in exchange.

Day 3

Sally's Dream Mandala Garden finally realised

Planted some endive and thyme.

My first cosmos has germinated! The cloche over it really seems to work. Makes me want to plant more seeds.

Would like to say I did lots of work in my garden today, but I got side-tracked next door and helped Tony and Yasmin unload 560 retaining wall blocks from a truck instead. Hard work indeed! Very satisfying to lend a helping hand though. They bought them on Gumtree for a tenth of the retail price. Good recycling too.

Came home to the welcome sight of the chooks all having a dust bath together. I love my chookies!

By: Organic Gardener

First published: May 2014

Related topics

Extra content, Garden Tasks, Issue 74 - July/August 2014, GROW, Garden planning