Edmundsbury Court Estate Tenants & Residents Association
Edmundsbury Community Hall, 171 Ferndale Road, London SW9 8FQ
Mon-Sun: 9am-10pm
18 Jan 2017

Early Growing Session

Greenhouse and Propogation

This year we’re going to start our tomatoes and peppers off really early – to give them enough time to ripen in the summer sunshine and to grow into healthy strong plants to plant out in early summer. Either this weekend or next (probably both) 21st/28th January – I’ll be:

  • insulating the greenhouse at the back of the community hall with corrugated polycarbonate
  • check the irrigation system
  • put in a heater and thermostat
  • sow tomato seed trays

If you want to get involved, get it touch: jharbourne@mac.com

I attended a course last year at Regents Park – and can show you their technique for sowing seed trays.

We’ll also plant out the strawberry plants that I saved from last year under cloches in the raised beds.

If you have access to a car – then we’ll beed to pick up a few bags of compost (normal compost and seed sowing compost, along with a bag of vermiculite)



I’ve patched up the greenhouse as much as I can – the plastic has disintegrated, so I’ve reinforced and insulated it with garden Polycarbonate and garden bubble wrap, along with a sturdy frame made out of For Sales signs. I really should have just built a greenhouse from scratch rather than trying to patch up the old one – but we can do that in the summer.

There is now a heater underneath the top right shelf giving heat to the top shelf and the shelf below – along with a long grow light. I’ve planted 3 seed trays so far, but as a test, I will sow seeds every couple of weeks and see which plants are the healthiest. The seeds I’ve planted so far are:

  • Peppers
  • Tomatos
  • Chilis
  • Cauliflower
  • Herbs

I also intend to sow in trays in the greenhouse: Courgettes, Cucumbers.

Someone threw out some large white storage boxes which will be perfect for filling with water and putting in the base of the greenhouse in order to trap and slow-release heat.


Bulbs in Raised Bed

We’ve planted spring flowering bulbs in the front half of the L-shaped raised beds – so please, if you’re planting food, use the long straight run double beds. I’ve put a sign on the garden notice board. Daffodils are poisonous, and apparently look like an edible plant grown in certain hot countries.

List of Jobs

I’ve put a list of jobs on the Garden Notice Board – these are only a suggestion, along with what you can plant in the greenhouse and outdoors in February and March.



Anyone into Permaculture or Aquaponics?

Later on in the spring, if you’re interested in permaculture, then I’d like to turn the raised bed behind the community hall into an aquaponics garden. Have a look at some of the resources online which demonstrates how fish can produce nutrients to feed plants grown without soil.

source: http://aquaponicsplan.com/aquaponics-systems-a-review-of-my-diy-aquaponics/

22 Jun 2016

June 2016 Garden News

A lot has been happening in the garden this month, as I’m sure you’ve seen. The Open Garden Estates was a good incentive and deadline to get the garden looking nice. This is the first time that this event has been organised across the borough, mainly to draw attention to Lambeth’s demolition, sorry – ‘regeneration’, of their estates. Whilst we didn’t have many visitors coming to view our gardens, it was still great publicity to be featured, with photos, in the Brixton Buzz.


The first thing I wanted to do was to get the garden notice board put up – a finishing touch to our Edible Garden. My kitchen fitter made it free of charge, then presented me with the bill for materials – £180! I spent a further £180 on getting the graphics made, printed on aluminium, so that should last us quite a few years. It was a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the companies who gave us money towards the gardens over the past year, and also a way to inform and engage residents in the garden itself.

The posts took me nearly all day to dig out – as I kept hitting rubble from the block of flats that once stood in the centre of our square.

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The Noticeboard has the permanent graphics on the outside, facing out towards the street, as a way of introducing the garden to visitors, and the other side has a blackboard, pin board and leaflet dispenser for publicising our gardening events. I’ve also made a series of information sheets to inform people what they can propagate, plant out and harvest. These will also be put up in the greenhouses at the rear of the community hall.

I also refreshed the laminated information sheets, which had got water logged, on the wormery, propagation garden, bottle bin and tumbling composters.

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Here’s a photo of two volunteers that assisted in the Open Garden Estates, part of the London Festival of Architecture. I think this is a really good initiative, and whilst this year was a bit of a dry-run for us, I think next year we could really make a day of it, with a bake sale, plant sale, Edmundsbury ‘Ginger Beer’ and homemade lemonade.

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The water garden (pond), suggested by one of the residents, was an idea to attract frogs and toads who eat the caterpillars and bugs that attack our lettuces. I had put the laminated sign up before there was any sign of frogs themselves, though I had discovered several families of toads behind the community hall. These two frogs are lovely specimens, and I was delighted to see them and hope they enjoy (and stay) in their new home!


We got some free fertiliser from Bruno at Pop Brixton (if anyone’s there – please pick up as many bags as you can carry!) – and also a tray of plants for our new ‘Shade Garden’, underneath the cherry tree. Only mud (not grass) grew under the tree, and the red hot poker was a magnet for slugs and snails. The tray of 24 plants were a fantastic bonus to our hostas, ferns, lilies, heuchera, grasses, coleus and a fantastic hydrangea, which Monty and I bought at the garden centre at Cross Ways (Wallington).

This garden inspired the transformation of another muddy area under a tree, this time outside of Fosbury House – thanks to Lynda. And despite not having as many plants to hand (I bought some black and Japanese grasses and ferns), residents have been spontaneously planting this week. Every time I look at it there’s something else there.

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And whilst we haven’t quite seen summer yet, we’re already harvesting crops.

The strawberries are ripening, the lettuces are getting bigger, the courgettes are looking amazing, the herb garden is going mad, and the rhubarb is tasting fantastic, along with Brian’s potatoes and the radishes that Judith harvested.

Keep up all the amazing work and I hope to see you at the next gardening session, with community gardener extraordinary Poppy. Our events calendar has all the dates of the future gardening sessions on.

  • Monday 11th July 7-9pm
  • Monday 22 August 7-9pm
  • Monday 12th Sept 7-9pm
  • Monday 10th Oct  6:30 till 8:30pm
08 May 2016

Hanging Baskets Planting Day

Adopt a Hanging Basket

This year we’re going to let each block do their own hanging baskets. You will have already seen that Monty has done them on the west side of Chalbury, and around the community hall and on the corner of Glasbury. Jonathan’s refreshed the ones outside his door. So you can have total control of how your baskets will look! The TRA can still organise a day when we all get together to do them together, and bring enough plants for everyone, but you’ll be working on your own entrance (i.e. either side your front door) or your whole building, if you’re up for that. And if you want to add an individual touch, you can bring your own plants, seeds or ask Brian or Monty if they can find a particular plant at the garden centre.

We’ll even have a prize for the best hanging basket!

Last year we won third prize for best community garden (non-food) in Lambeth’s Community Pride Awards, and received £200 in vouchers.

Hanging Basket Planting Day:

Sunday 22 May from 10am-2pm
Taking down the baskets and cleaning them will commence the day before.

Some photos from the day are in our Gallery section: http://edmundsbury.org.uk/gallery/hanging-baskets/

01 Mar 2016

Kitchen scraps into compost!

What is a wormery?

A Wormery is a box system that contains composting worms that love to munch away on kitchen wastes. The bi-products produced consist of worm castings (worm poo or vermicompost) and Leachate (liquid fertilizer) these are excellent feeds for your indoor and outdoor plants.

Worm composting is an easy, convenient, environmentally-friendly and efficient way of turning your waste kitchen scraps into high quality super-rich compost all the year round. The compost, the worms produce, can be mixed into the soil when introducing new plants in the garden, added to houseplants and containers or used a top dressing (mulch).

Does it smell?

A normal wormery should smell earthy. Bad smells arise when to much food (more than the worms can eat) is allowed to rot and becomes Anaerobic (bacteria that doesn’t need oxygen to live).

How long does it take?

Approximately 2.5 months from start to finish. As above this is dependant on the health of your wormery, the amount of worms and the season.

Our new compost and propagation garden

The money for the WormCity came as part of the waste-reduction grant from WRWA – the people who recycle all our waste. In addition, we are constructing a tumbling food composter and have built two cold composters behind the community hall – our composting and propagation garden.


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