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Norfolk Master Gardeners fine tune their horticultural skills

Norfolk Master Gardeners fine tune their horticultural skills

Sunday, 20 February, Norfolk Master Gardeners came together to fine tune their horticultural skills,  refresh their seed germination knowledge and be creative with recycling.   We rise with the lark here in Norfolk and true to form all our Master Gardeners arrived early, eager to meet up, swap stories, tayberries, seeds, ideas and get some hot food-growing tips.

Seasonal sowing and growing: what crops when

The day started with a dynamic session on what to sow when.   Much debate ensued once the crops were positioned on the time line.   Will we sow carrots now or wait until May and escape carrot fly attack? Why miss the tasty treat, just cover the plants with horticultural fleece or surround them with a 90cm barrier.  Penny suggests watering carrots with onion water helps fool the flies and Mary plants her carrots inside a circle of garlic.

We heard from Steve on his recent household planning meeting and from Penny on her plans with Queensway Infant School in Thetford.  Jeremy gave us a summary of how Grapes Hill Community Garden came about and wetted our appetite for our site visit after lunch.

Master Gardeners Bev and Paul

Master Gardeners use many skills when they engage with households, mentoring and supporting them as they take their first food-growing steps.  The art of communication is one such skill and a session on active listening refreshed and reminded us of simple techniques to enhance household interaction.

Our Blue Peter style session on making windowsill light reflectors, paperpots from recycled materials was heartily enjoyed by all.  Alice’s top tip for milk bottles – they make great deep irrigation units.   Cut the base out, spear the sides, leave the cap on and bury it upside down beside your deep rooted plants.  Add water and you have controlled root irrigation.

Our final session was a reminder of all the resources available to Master Gardeners enabling them to provide really great advice and support to those who want to learn how to grow their own food.  Collective knowledge and experience provides the basics whilst the Garden Organic factsheets and other web-based materials provide that extra dimension.  For example, did you know that 7 degrees C is the coolest temperature for chitting potatoes?  Steve’s research provided that little jem.

Feedback from our Master Gardeners was very positive – “learnt lots of new tips”, “very informative”,” lovely lunch”, ” a lovely wake up from winter”.

Norfolk Master Gardeners are currently recruiting new volunteers for April.  If you are interested, please click here to read more.

Would you like some help from your local Master Gardener?  Click here.

2 Responses to “Norfolk Master Gardeners fine tune their horticultural skills”

  1. fionalaw says:

    Looks like a lot of fun, Gabbie and the Norfolk MGs. Can’t wait til we get all the volunteers from the different regions together for the Master Volunteers day on 15th May at Ryton!


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