Saturday, July 4, 2015

July Fourth in the Garden

Fourth of July Greetings,

            Went in to the garden this morning thinking no one else would be around, only to find a whole crowd there already and busy.  I was the latecomer!   Finally catching up on critical tasks and getting at more of the housekeeping.  Mowed a couple of days ago and this morning I took the weed eater around cleaning up the edges.  Still have a couple of finishing touches to finish up the Common Ground sprinkler system, but it is fully functional.  Am now working on the watering sector for the labyrinth area, including the surround of trees.

            Have a number of notes to share with you. 

            Watering:  Ground moisture seems to be holding up well. Finished repairing the one broken sprinkler on the south side of the plots and used the occasion to dig up most of that line and install four standpipes in place of the existing three so there will be better coverage of that wider part of the plots.  They are all working again now.  After the Friday watering the yellow measuring cans reflected an even distribution of water across the garden.  Thanks for helping keep them in place in the cross walks.  In view of the very high temps today, I set the sprinklers to run a short cycle this evening (Saturday).  It is supposed to be much cooler on Sunday, so perhaps it is not overly necessary, but we can back off on the Monday watering if is too wet.  With this heat the plants are really growing and need lots of water. 

            Mission Garden:  Thanks to all of you who are keeping up on your crop assignments. However, there are a few crops in need of attention.  I tried out the 14” tiller in the troughs between the raised beds that were filled with purslane and weeds.  It did a great job, but the purslane will probably be back.  You might consider using the wheelbarrows to get loads of leaves from the compost pile and put those down in the troughs to hold down the weeds  I also ran the tiller through several rows of the first planting of corn and it does a great job.  Only leaves a narrow band of the corn to weed.  Before the corn and vine crops get an bigger it would save a lot of work to use the tiller to cultivate and get the weeds out.  Yesterday I ran the mower over the tall weeds on the fallow section and made green manure out of them.  We now need to get the tillers going on this section.  I am running the sprinklers on this area to soft it up for tilling.  The Open Area Team may want to designate someone to be the head tiller. 

            Harvesting Crew:  Hard to believe that we already have some crops from the Mission Garden ready to harvest.  We will have a first harvest session next Tuesday morning starting at 9:00.  There is not a lot, so it will not take a long time.  Target crops are zucchini, yellow squash, radishes and possibly some Chinese cabbage and garlic.  Anticipate those gardeners identified as harvesting members of each team can be available.  Anyone else is also more than welcome.  If you were involved in raising the crop, you might want to get in on the harvesting - let me know.

Purslane;  Chris P. suggested I remind everyone that purslane is good to eat.  It has a slight lemony flavor and is good in salads.  Afraid I have a rather perverse attitude towards the darn stuff right now!

Paths:  We need everyone’s help in keeping the paths in the plots in good shape.  If dirt from your plot has gotten mixed into the chips on the paths, please clear it back into your plot or clean it up and place it in the waste pile.  We will be putting down some fresh chips where needed throughout the garden over the next few weeks in preparation for the Parade of Gardens on July 25. .  You are also responsible for keeping the weeds off of the paths that adjoin your plot.  Remember to keep your plants from growing out over the paths.  It may take some trimming and staking.   

Garden Meeting – Monday, July 6, 6:30: Looking for good participation Monday evening.  Anyone have some good snacks they would like to bring?  We will have lemonade and ice tea, as well.  We want to hear from you on how the garden is going, suggestions, problems, ideas, etc.  We will finalize plans for the picnic next Sunday and for the Parade of Gardens on Saturday, July 25th. 

Annual Garden Picnic -Sunday, July 12 Starting at 4:00:   This is always a fun event.  There are a lot of people involved with our garden community and this is a great opportunity to meet and visit with others.    It is a busy time of the summer, so some are always on trips or tied up with other events.  But, if you can, please come join us.  

Hope you have all had a good Independence Day.  Perfect weather.

Dave