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!

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Workday Recap: July 2019

Today’s workday was buzzing! Thanks to those who came out on an unusual date and despite the heat. We had a good crowd–and even gained a new gardener!

Today’s workday focused on harvesting for the Sack Summer Hunger program, weeding, and adding mulch to our paths.

Notice: It is the beginning of OKRAPALOOZA! Though we typically ask that gardeners only pick from their own plots, okra is an exception! Okra grows so fast that it needs to be picked EVERY DAY, so help out your garden companions and harvest okra when you visit.

Any okra longer than 2 inches is ready to be harvested! We estimate there are 40 okra plants in the garden, so that is a LOT of okra!

We also talked about the importance of watering, and planting cover crops. Black eyed peas and black beans are recommended to try; they like the heat and may help distract critters from your tomatoes. You can harvest the beans or mulch them under as green compost.

Basil is also a great cover crop that is very popular with the pollinators!

Keep tending your plots (check out the amazing long squash!!) and start to think about your fall crops. It’s nearly time to plant!

See you next month, Aug. 10 from 8-10 to beat the heat!

Homestead Parade

To help build the float, meet in the Homestead Elementary parking lot around 8:30…if you just want to walk/ride in the parade, be there no later than 9:45. All are welcome…friends, family, and neighbors!

Workday Recap: May 2019

The good news: we did not have to water today!

The rain provided more than enough! Our group met inside for an hour before braving the elements — you can’t keep a gardener from the dirt!

Now is the time to pull up any winter crops and switch to summer crops. The lettuces, turnips, beets, spinaches aren’t likely to last once the heat comes–and we know it’s on the way! Swiss chard is an exception: leave the center and continue to harvest the outer leaves, and it may last all through summer.

Keep an eye out for pests. This turnip looked healthy on the top, but the underside of the leaves shows small black dots–eggs! Use ONLY organic controls in the garden: diatomaceous earth, insecticidal soap, etc. to discourage pests. Harsher chemicals can affect the good critters we want to encourage in the garden, like pollinators and earthworms, so it is important we protect them by using organic methods.

We also had sad news: this may be the Hines’ last time at the garden. They are moving in June, but have a gift to remember us by: a bug hotel to make their new garden happy!

This is a great time to plant a bunch of things: welcome to peak planting season! Bush beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, eggplant, okra–the list goes on! You can start harvesting onions and garlic or wait a few more weeks. Hold off on harvesting potatoes until the tops of the plant turn brown.

Thank you Loan and Al for the seed donation, and thanks you’re the garden team who sorted and organized all of them! Remember, you are welcome to our donated seeds for the garden or for your home plot!

The weather cleared and we ventured out. Go team onion!

The air around the cleaning table was practically onion soup–that’s good eats!

Mark your calendars for July 4; we plan to once again march in the Homestead neighborhood parade. More details to come. Bring your ideas for a float design!

Our next workday is June 8. See you there!