White crowned sparrows are nesting and singing in the garden, lettuce that rivals the flowers is growing, and Fred says now we can start digging up the ground. A mix of overwintered plants and assists from the cloche means that the garden has peas, lettuce, and chard growing – but now they have real growing weather.
Stop by on Saturday!
We need volunteers at “Holman Grove” the fruit grove by the Gourmet Latte.
Stop by and learn how to water, talk about the cool plans for the future, share your ideas.
Saturday April 10th
12pm – 2pm
At the Crown Hill Center plot. Weeding and planting and planning.
- Blueberry bushes – keep an eye on these!
- Lettuce – 2 trays of lettuce starts!
- Peas (they like to be planted close together)
The Big Debate
How much to space the strawberries?
If you plant too close together, plants are less responsive to disease and insects because they aren’t strong enough to fight these off. Enough space also reduces the amount of watering you need to do. (None of this applies to peas, who like to be close together).
Citing Steve Solomon the author of “Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades”, Fred believes in giving plants lots of space. “You cram plants together and you might get more pounds per acre. You might not,” Fred said.
Christal takes a slightly more reserved approach. She gives some space but thinks 2 feet is way more than necessary for the strawberries.
“Weeding reminds me of how I should approach life. I need to take more out and be thoughtful about what I put in.” – Volunteer Extraordinaire Elizabeth
Your time and energy! The garden is for the whole community. Come and share your creativity and ideas, your labor and skills. Spend thirty minutes or the whole afternoon. Fred is in the garden most days, drop by and catch up!
Looking for somebody interested in figuring out irrigation. Christal is especially interested in help on researching Vietnamese Trench Irrigation. Stop by on Saturday to discuss!
Fire Up the Nitrogen Factory
The garden is full of fava bean plants. Not prepping to pop open a nice bottle of chianti, although the leaves and young beans when they are green are delicious. Peppered all throughout the garden, the plants are helping to add nitrogen to the soil.
Generally, plants can’t pull nitrogen out of the air, so some plants have a relationship with rhizobacteria. The bacteria pulls the nitrogen out of the air, and gives it to the plants (who in turn give the rhizobacteria necessary amino acids). Vetch is the best option, but any peas or clover and beans will also help pull nitrogen into the soil.
If you pull one of these nitrogen producing plants up, you will see little nodules on the root – these are the nitrogen factories. The more nodules, the more nitrogen being produced.
The gardeners met this week with Sage Homes – the team building new houses across from the Crown Hill Center. The gardeners work tirelessly to grow food and beauty for the neighborhood but one place that needs some growth is our advertising. The marketing manager for Sage Homes walked the garden with Fred and Christal and will make signs to identify plants, and announce that this is a garden for you!