GARDEN CHAMPION: Lismore Home Garden Education Club's Warren Coles, took out the region's 2019 Grand Champion Vegetable Garden, an honour he has won many times. Mr Coles takes extra precautions as field mice love his corn kernels.
GARDEN CHAMPION: Lismore Home Garden Education Club's Warren Coles, took out the region's 2019 Grand Champion Vegetable Garden, an honour he has won many times. Mr Coles takes extra precautions as field mice love his corn kernels. Supplied

Gardening with love

"LOVE, it's all about love.”

Perennial grand champion vegetable gardener, Warren Coles, 81, reckons it's passion which drives his award-winning vegetable patch.

If you can call his formal veggie garden 15m x 9m plus a very long vine-gardening section a patch.

Mr Coles has been a member of the Lismore Home Garden Club for about six years and his wife Dawn much longer.

The former dairy farmer who lives out near Goolmangar said gardening needs a lot of love.

"You have to love being in the garden it the biggest part I reckon,” he said.

"Judging day I had 27 verities and I only grow stuff that we love to eat. I love to grow everything, I love brassicas, vines such as cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelon.”

Mr Coles said the soil is mostly sandy loom which he improves with manure and compost.

"I'll mulch the tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins but anything with a quick turnover I don't,” he said.

"I don't use artificial fertilisers or sprays, if you get out before sunrise you squeeze off the insects.”

Birds and mice chewing his precious corn kernels saw Mr Cole use nets.

"Field mice absolutely love corn seed,” he said.

"Now I net them until they are two inches hight or they will dig down begins the little stalk.”

Plant with seasons and you can't go wrong Mr Coles said.

And he should know.


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