Saturday, July 11, 2015

Garden Notes - Saturday

Hello Gardeners,

            A very busy weekend coming up with many activities going on round town.  Have been focused on getting everything together for the picnic tomorrow. 

Kids ActivitiesDon’t know how many children will be in attendance, but we need about three people to help with kids activities.  The materials will all be available, just need someone to oversee the activities.  One is a water balloon toss.  Second is a garden scavenger hunt.  Third is a flower/leaf hammered imprint.

Lawn Games:  Anyone have a lawn game that would be popular.  Please bring it with you.   

            Watering:  A hose blew out on the pump Thursday night and as a consequence the plots did not get watered Friday morning as scheduled.  Discovered the problem Friday morning and made the repair and turned on the sprinklers to run by mid-morning.  Sorry if you came to work and found the sprinklers running.  Depending on the heat today and soil moisture, I may run an extra short watering Saturday evening.

            Paths:  Hate to sound like a broken recording, but would those who have a significant amount of soil from their plots that has gotten mixed into the chips on the paths please clean it off back into your plot.  It provides a medium for grass and weeds to grow in the paths.  I hope to put some fresh chips own where needed over the next few weeks and don’t want to put them down over a seed bed.   Also, please clear the weeds from the paths adjacent to your plots. 

`           Insects:  We are seeing quite a few lady bugs still around the garden.  That is good.  There has been another hatch of flea beetles lately, but not extensive and the plants are mature enough now to not be significantly impacted.  There are a few grasshoppers starting to show up, but not enough to be a problem, as of now. 

            Purslane:  conventional wisdom says you need to pull and dispose of every piece of the plant or even a leave left behind will grow into a new plant.  I am finding this is not totally true.  This stuff is so thick in parts of the Mission Garden that I have been using the tiller on it.  Rather than having thousands of new plant, there are very few parts of the plants that are growing back.  Purslane is a succulent, and in this heat the damage plant desiccates quickly and dies.  The corn in the Open Area has the stuff coming up like hair on a dog’s back.  I tilled between the rows yesterday so those of you taking care of the corn need only hoe/weed the narrow band along the corn. 

            Green Manure BedsThere are two full beds of field beans planted one each in the North and South Raised Beds.  The seeds were inoculate with nitrogen enhancing bacterium at planting to improve the soil and it is now time to till the tops in as green manure.  We are trying to figure out how best to do this.  Best idea yet came from Duane A. to run the plants through the shredder and then till the residue into the beds.  We will be giving that a try in the near future.  The fallow quarter of the Open Area was heavily covered with weeds.  Matt dug a lot of them out, but it was an overwhelming task.  We mowed them into green manure and Terry M. spent a number of hours with the tiller working them into the soil.  Many thanks Terry. 

            Care for Garden Tools:  At our last meeting, Karen H. suggested we provide information on how to care for, and particularly sharpen, garden tools.  Towards this end, a file was purchased and is now on the tool board on the shed.  We will work on finding more specific info on sharpening tools.  A sharp hoe or shovel can make a world of difference in how the work.  There is a bucket of water and brushes on the tool board.  Please clean the dirt off before putting them back up.  I will also be adding a small bucket with a lid in which there will be a rag with oil on it to wipe the metal surfaces.  That will reduce rusting. 

            Open Plot:  We still have one plot that has been released if someone wants to use it to add a few plants or plant some fall crops.  No fee at this point. 

            Trencher Needed:  We need to add an extension to the labyrinth water sector to use for the compost area.  Looking for a volunteer to dig a trench about 20 ft. long to install this.  Shovel and water provided!