Workday Recap: February 2020

Spring is just around the corner! Now is the time to start preparing your bed and thinking about what you will grow this year. We recommend the square foot gardening method—remember, grow UP, not OUT.

Special thanks to Ty and the Trellis Construction Team!

Take the time now to PLAN your plot. For example, if you want to grow tomatoes from seed, you need to both start now (indoors!) AND plant only short-term crops like radishes so you will have room when it comes time to plant. If you want lettuce, go for it! But if you plant potatoes, you’ll have to wait until June to harvest and use that spot. So think carefully now to get the garden you want!

We recommend the “hole” or “hill” method for potatoes. Ask one of the experienced gardeners for tips!

It’s a good time for greens, such as lettuce, collards, and spinach, as well as root veggies like carrots and onions. Plant potatoes now, but it will take awhile before you see any harvest. This is the prime season for snap peas, so plant quickly before it gets too hot!

Please welcome our new gardeners, and yet again, thank you to the Young Men’s Service League for their continued help!

As a reminder, we now have a cold frame near the shed! All plants in the cold frame are considered available for the community, so it is a good place to check and also to leave your spares. We grow AND share!

Nearly every spot has been taken, but we have a few that are not officially claimed. Please reach out as soon as possible and make plans to attend the next workday, March 14!

Rain, Sleet, Snow, Nothing Stops our Gardens to Grow!

No matter what the weather…our next garden workday is this Saturday, February 8th, from 9-11am. This is the LAST meeting to claim your plot…we have a waiting list of gardeners, who are ready to claim any unassigned plots. The list of vegetables to plant grows much larger in February—-come on down to our workday to learn more. Finally, here are some great “Garden Hacks” to try! Garden Hacks

January 2020 Workday Recap

Welcome to a new year of gardening! Despite the snow, we had an enthusiastic turnout–gardening is an all-seasons hobby!

It was really cold, so we only worked outside briefly. Now is the time to plan ahead. We recommend the Square Foot Method. Remember: grow UP, not out!

It’s also time to replenish your soil levels. We just got a new batch of compost; feel free to use it to top up your soil.

Now is also the time to fertilize your soil. We recommend slow-release fertilizers such as worm castings, fish emulsion, manure, or mushroom compost. A commercial fertilizer to try is osmocote.

Harvest your winter crops. Some, like lettuce, can continue to produce if you harvest the outer leaves only.

It’s time to plant onions, peas, and potatoes. We have some community starters in the cold frame next to the shed.

Today, returning gardeners got to call “dibs” on their plots (returning gardeners can have up to two), and we assigned plots to a few new gardeners. We will continue to accept the $35 fee and assign plots for the year. To be assigned a plot, you must attend the workday.

Our next workday is February 8, from 9-11 a.m.

Thanks to those who made it out. Here’s to a year of great gardening!

Ice, Rain, or Snow, Garden Workday is still a GO!

The forecast for our next garden workday, Saturday, January 11th from 9 to 11, is cold and windy….but we are a hardy folk, and will meet anyway. I have onion sets to give away and plant, but if it’s too cold we will meet inside instead. Remember…you get first pick of garden plots if you come to THIS workday. I already have new gardeners looking for a plot, but the “veterans” get their choice, before I open it up to the newcomers. Have faith…spring is just around the corner!

Deck the beds with trowels of compost…

Deck the beds with trowels of compost…fa…la…la…la…la…la…la…la. Tis the time for garden workday fa…la…la…la…la…la…la…la. Now we prune our vines & trellis fa…la…la…la…la…la…la…la. Total the ancient season’s harvest fa…la…la…la…la…la……la……la.

Workday this Saturday 9-11…or I sing another verse.

Workday Recap: October 2019

Thanks to all who made it out. It’s finally fall! We even found ice on our rotating compost bin.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_77c

We focused on harvesting. Now is the time to pull up any summer crops that aren’t producing so you have room for cole crops and other winter vegetables. We harvested most of the basil and okra in the garden. We also went “digging for treasure” for our sweet potatoes! Tomatoes may provide a second harvest IF they are in good health. If not, pull them out!UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_77e

Be sure to always add at least one scoop of compost when adding new plants. Turn the soil to incorporate the new compost and disrupt the life cycles of some of the weeds and some insects.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_77d

Now is a good time to add slow-release fertilizers. Other additions include worm castings, fish emulsion, or blood meal. If you want a commercial fertilizer, try Osmocote (which is not organic but is slow-release).

Now is the time to plant greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, mustard) or roots, such as radishes, turnips, and leaks.

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We again were awarded a grant to support our garden! The Kimley-Horn Foundation, available through Megan’s work, awarded our garden $1,250 to further our environmental, educational, and poverty-relief work. This year, we used our grant to buy a bee hotel, a butterfly box, and a screech owl box. We hope to attract a screech owl to watch over our garden as a natural predator to insects, lizards, and small mice. Plus they are really cool!UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_785

You can learn how to build your own screech owl box here. You can also buy pre-built nest boxes like the one we purchased for the garden.

To hear what a screech owl may sound like, listen to the video below. They are not too disruptive, though the sound can be a little scary the first time they do their “screech”! They don’t hoot like other owls, but do make a soft “coo” sound, which you can also hear in the video.

Our next workday will be November 9, from 9 – 11. We will be at the garden whatever the weather (if it’s too cold or wet, we’ll just meet indoors!). See you there!