NGT hosts a master class in potting mixes, composts and worms

NGT hosts a master class in potting mixes, composts and worms

On Wednesday we were privileged to have Kevin Handreck, one of Australia’s leading horticultural scientists, host a workshop at our nursery. More than 30 keen amateur and professional horticulturalists came from both sides of the border to hear Kevin speak.

For me this was a very special and exciting occasion, as I have been using Kevin’s book Growing media for ornamental plants and turf as a guide for how best to set up and maintain a healthy, productive nursery since 1984!

The gathering audience mingle over supper before the workshop

The excitement of having such a horticultural legend in our nursery was also mixed with some fear and trepidation. I had been advised that Kevin had absolutely no reservations in telling people what he thought of their horticultural practices. Fortunately, to my great relief, Kevin told me that he thought our nursery was really well set up. I could then relax and enjoy watching the master at work.

For the next 2 hours Kevin kept everyone engaged as he explained the essentials of good potting mixes, how to make great composts and the positives and some negatives of worm composting. With more than 36 years’ experience as a CSIRO scientist, researching and writing bestselling books on these very topics, Kevin was able to move deftly from the general to the specific, effortlessly clarifying the more technical aspects of horticultural propagation that many of us would ordinarily find difficult to understand.

Kevin sharing his expertise during the workshop, on what was a balmy summer evening at the Cross-border Community Nursery in Mount Gambier

All  in all this workshop was a great way to wrap up what has been a busy few months of events that have been either hosted or co-hosted by the nursery.

Thanks to Peter Little from Biogrow for initially putting me in touch with Kevin.  Thanks also to Cath, Dan, and Samantha for helping out with the catering, DEWNR for loaning us their PowerPoint Projector and Screen and Dan (City of Mount Gambier gardener) for organising the chairs.

Ken Baker