Soil and compost

Barwon Heads sits at the eastern most point of the western plains. In the past, with much of the landscape cleared for residential or grazing purposes, the land became particularly vulnerable to wind erosion. The soil tends to have alkaline pH tendencies and nutrient and water holding capacities are low.

This results in a lot of work for gardeners. In Barwon Heads it is vital to build improve the soil in preparation for growing. Regular applications of compost and nutrients are required. Also, work needs to be done to improve water retention in the soil. 

At the Barwon Heads Community Arts Garden we try as much as possible to use our green waste to replenish nutrients in the soil. Most green waste is piled up in a bay in the composting area. The only exceptions are the invasive weeds, (kikuyu grass, couch grass, oxalis and the seeds of the fennel plants) which are placed in the green bin for council collection.

The green waste is then put through a shredder a couple of times to break it down into small pieces, mixed with donated horse manure and left to rest for a few weeks. Regular watering and covering the waste helps it to mature into a fine compost ready for the garden beds.