Ghalema Easton and Tawhid Denton have selflessly started a verge (pavement) garden outside their homes in Plumstead to feed communities suffering from the effects of lockdown. During hard lockdown they realised too many families were going without meals and it broke their hearts to think about it, so they cleverly devised a plan to help. Every day they would work on their verge garden to ready the soil for seeds, after a few weeks the first vegetables popped up and their dream came to fruition.
Anyone passing through is allowed to pick vegetables and herbs and no contribution is necessary. Soon, a few neighbours reached out to the couple to help with their pavement garden and now there is more free food available for those who need it.
Easton says it is the easiest thing you could possibly do and has a host of tips for you to get started.
Start your pavement garden today:
1. Identify the size on your verge you would like to start with. Start small, maybe a one-metre square area.
2. Chop up the soil, spade it to one side and remove all the grass, stones and pieces of glass. Take out more soil and create a 30cm trench.
3. Pack a layer of horse manure (10cm high) from corner to corner in the trench.
4. Mix half a bag of light compost into the soil you removed to regenerate the soil. Then spade the soil back into the trench.
5. Using a rake, pull the side soil up to the top to create a raised bed and at the same time create a (water catchment) ditch all around your bed. Then smooth over the top of the bed.
6. Pack a nice layer of horse manure all around the sides of the bed, pushing it in firmly on the sides (this creates a source of nutrients which will drain into the soil as you water, and stops the wind and sun from drying out the raised bed).
7. Sprinkle some light compost on the top of your raised bed. You can also mix some egg shell powder with any organic grow pellets and sprinkle on top. If you have straw or dried leaves, pack that on top to retain moisture.
8. Your bed is now ready for planting. With your hands, create an opening in the mulch. Make a hole in the soil, plant your seedlings or seeds and push the mulch back around your plant.
9. Water once a day preferably before 9am or after 6pm at night. Morning watering is far more beneficial in preventing mould forming on the leaves. Now watch your plants grow.
* Please contact Creating EDEN for any further advice and support.