New projects for Garden Workday…this Saturday!

Our next garden workday is this Saturday from 9-11 am. As usual, we will harvest, have some winter crops to plant, and discuss best bets. In addition, we will build and install our new cold frame/greenhouse and add solar panels and lights to the shed!

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!

Workday Recap: September 2019

It was a great day at the garden! Thanks to the many folks who made it out, including two new faces!

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The heat is cooling off soon, but we still need to water often! Even if we get a little bit of rain, it won’t be enough to sustain your crops, so water slow and deep, and help your neighbors. Please also water community areas when you are able!

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We’re in a time of transition. If your summer crops are looking happy and healthy, keep them as we move into fall; you may get another harvest or two! But pull up and replace any weak or sickly plants. It’s time to remove your “cover crops” (like black-eyed peas or basil) to make room for our fall crops.
Now is the time to plant MANY fall/winter crops. Examples include beans, broccoli, garlic, beets, kale, and radishes.

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When replacing crops, take a moment to fill your soil, even if it is just one square foot. This helps avoid pests and disease and is a best practice.
 It’s also time to add compost and slow-release fertilizer. You should have soil up to the top inch of your planter box. If you have more space, you need compost! Luckily we have a big pile of great compost just outside the garden; add some to your plot!

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We harvested many crops today and had a lot to donate. Coming in to September, we donated 1,101 pounds to local food banks! We donated a lot today, too, but don’t yet have an updated count.
 Remember, keep helping your neighbors harvest okra! It grows too fast to keep up with, and Al says we have 101 okra plants in our garden. Wow!

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The 4H club is selling flats of pansies, $22 for 18 plants. Reach out on our Facebook group if you are interested in supporting these young gardeners!

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Thanks for coming out! Our next workday will be Saturday, October 12, from 9-11!  (Back to our normal time as we expect some cooler weather!)

Workday Recap: August 2019

Who says August can’t be a great time to harvest?! The Grow & Share gardeners best the heat and the odds and harvested 100 pounds of produce to donate — in one workday!

A big crowd turned out for an earlier/slightly less hot workday, and we accomplished so much! We even welcomed a new gardener, so all of our plots are full. Well done!

Ty showed off his new watering technique. DO keep watching regularly, but please be sure turn off the water when you leave! Even when it rains, we need to keep our plants watered if we’re going to get a fall crop.

Now is the time to think of fall! You must plant now in order to have a harvest when it is cooler. You can directly seed many crops like Pole or bush beans, kohlrabi, swiss chard, carrots, and “greens” like mustard, collard, and spinach. Winter, summer, or pan squash can be planted from seed or transplants. The “cole crops”: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are best from transplants.

Keep helping your neighbors harvest okra! All okra must be harvested every day– if you see okra longer than 2 inches, harvest it!

Make room in your bed by pulling up dead, diseased, or damaged plants, or those that are underproducing. Do not put diseased plants in the compost; use the trash can instead to avoid spreading disease.

Every time you add a plant or pull up a plant, add compost! Now is also the time to add some slow-release fertilizer to help give your crops a boost. And remember, keep watering!

Thanks to all who made it out! Our next workday will be 9-11 a.m., Saturday, September 14! See you there!