Sustainable gardening for busy people

In March, the Wangaratta Library held the program March into Sustainability - a series of workshops focused on sustainability and gardening.

This program was run in conjunction with the Wangaratta Sustainability Network.

Workshops covered various topics from worm farms, beekeeping, wicking beds and sustainability for busy people. Each of the events was well attended with people raving about the content.

David from Davo’s Worm Farms gave detailed instructions and advice about using worm castings as a soil conditioner, seedling germinator, potting mix and as a fertiliser replacement. Also, David gave a helpful list of tips on how to manage your worm farm and the use and benefits of using worm tea in your garden.

Snow Road Nursery presented helpful information about winter-proofing your garden, with advice on pruning, mulching, soil care and general plant and garden maintenance which was well received.

The wicking bed talk was presented by library staff member Netty who is passionate about sustainable living and gardening and has set up a vermiponics system and wicking beds at her property. Netty and her husband showed examples of the construction and benefits of wicking bed gardening as a way of growing plants where water wicks up from an underground water reservoir by capillary action.

Water conservation is the primary benefit of growing vegetables in wicking beds and reducing stress on plants from irregular watering.

Vermiponics is a soil-less growing technique that combines hydroponics with a worm farm using the diluted worm farm leachate (worm tea) as the nutrient solution for the vegetables’ growth.

A bonus is the worm castings that Netty brews up to increase the microbiological activity of the soil in her garden and to use as a foliar fertiliser for fruit trees.

 The Wangaratta Library is committed to providing interesting, up-to-date books and magazines on all aspects of sustainability covering house design and building, eco-friendly lifestyles, garden design and maintenance, vegetable and fruit growing and preserving of fruit and vegetable produce.

The March into Sustainability program will be presented again in 2018, with new ideas and exciting workshops. For more information contact Wangaratta Library, 5721 2366 or via email

Jasen Smith, Wangaratta Library