CEU Edible Courtyard Garden Blog

CEU Edible Courtyard Garden Blog


Promoting a Common Green Space

- by Ruth Pinto



As part of the Organic Gardening course organised by the Environmental Science and Policy Department here at CEU, the Japanese Garden has been given a new look. The reinvention of the space is aimed at greening it up as well as encouraging students to interact with the garden by introducing a variety of edible plants. The garden is now coloured with an assortment of plants from herbs such as oregano, lavender, sage, coriander, basil, lemon balm, parsley, chives, calendula, and mint; to fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, onion, chard, strawberries, fava beans, chard, and green peas. The design of the garden is based on a range of permaculture principles and hopes to be a long-lasting contribution to the CEU community.

Why mulch?  

To encourage the flourishing of the space, members of the CEU community came together during the first week of the spring semester to apply mulch in the open garden spaces and the planters. Mulching provides a number of services to the soil and plants that thrive in it. Not only does it improve soil fertility, it also inhibits the growth of weeds. Another key service it provides is the conservation of moisture, while preventing soil compaction from excess rain. During these days of spring when the weather is continually fluctuating, mulching can be of additional assistance to the healthy growth of a garden. However, mulching also assists in maintaining soil temperature and is thus a useful practice all year round. As the mulch slowly decomposes, it adds to the organic matter of the soil, thereby encouraging the presence of beneficial soil organisms, such as earthworms, and improving root growth by providing nutrients to plants. To this end, weeding was undertaken and mulch in the form of field hay was added to the Japanese Garden.

In addition to the weeding and mulching, harvesting of some of the vegetables and herbs was done and a few more saplings were moved from the nursery to the garden. As time goes on, we hope that more of the plants continue to thrive and the garden encourages a number of friendly grazers!

Follow more garden news on the Sustainable CEU facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/sustainable.ceu


Sources and further reading (these are quite generic):
BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_usingmulches1.shtml
RHS: http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=323
NRCS: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/?cid=nrcs143_023585
Organic Gardening for Beginners: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/mulch



Further reading on mulches in the garden: