We have a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers helping us run the Edible Gardening Project. During the first eight months of the project we have spoken to over 4500 Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh visitors about edible gardening. Sharing information and giving advice to new gardeners is what the project is all about, and we couldn’t reach that many visitors without our super team. Here is a short film introducing some of them.
The volunteers have been out in the garden despite the cold this week, but the frosty weather has kept us from working on the outdoor plots. Digging over frozen soil is problematic for several reasons, not only is it hard on your back and on the tools, it is also damaging to the soil. The pros and cons of digging the soil at all is hotly debated and the main arguments for each are as follows;
Digging the soil is seen by some as the best way to incorporate organic matter into the soil and to improve soil texture. It may also help to reduce the impact of compaction and helps to control weeds.
Digging over the soil is thought by others to be bad for its structure. It can be harmful to beneficial soil bacteria and worms. It may also encourage dormant weed seeds to germinate.
Perhaps we should carry out an experiment with our new plots this year. Regardless of where your loyalties lie, both camps consider digging waterlogged or frozen soil to be damaging and a gardening faux pas. Until the weather improves we have been keeping ourselves amused with jobs such as tidying the polytunnel and wrapping the wormeries up in fleece to protect the inhabitants from the frost.