Winter pruning and making your own compost

Barrie Thorne and Peter Robertson at the Stacey Community Orchard
Barrie Thorne and Peter Robertson at the Stacey Community Orchard

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We held a winter pruning workshop last Wednesday which went well.

We looked at how to prune apple and pear trees and fruit bushes such as currant bushes and gooseberries.

Remember it is very important not to prune the stone fruit trees such as plum, cherry, peach and apricot in the winter as they can get a disease.

If anyone missed it and would like some pruning advice then do pop in to see our gardening group, which meets every Wednesday morning 10am until 1pm.

There have been some new happenings in the orchard which is going to help us keep our Sustainable Garden status.

One of our volunteers has installed a solar light onto our shed roof, which gives us some light in our dark shed and allows us to charge our mobile phones!

We are also planning to build some large compost bins.

We are going to use a compost system, which has three large wooden compost bins joined together.

With our new large raised beds and the Menshed project putting up a new polytunnel soon we know we will need a larger composting area.

Homemade compost is one of the best materials to put on your soil.

Making your own compost Is quite straightforward, it’s important to get a good mix of materials in the compost bin.

A mixture of wet things such as kitchen waste or grass cuttings, along with drier things such as small torn up bits of cardboard, paper and twigs works best, come and see us for some compost advice too.

A reminder for schools that it is possible to bring school groups to our orchard free of charge and activities will be provided such as sowing and planting vegetables, mini beast hunts and plant identification.

It is a lovely space for children to explore, with lots of herbs to smell.

If you are interested please contact the Stacey centre and ask for the community gardener.

Talking of activities, our next event will be our Easter fun day, which is being held in the Easter school holidays on Wednesday, March 30.

There will be more details given nearer the time.

In the meantime we are enjoying the signs of early spring in the garden such as our first snowdrops and even daffodils!

For more information please call the Stacey Centre on (023) 9261 7890.

n Stacey Community

Orchard is at Walsall Rd,

Portsmouth PO3 6HT