Friday, April 20, 2012

April, 2012

Welcome to all the newcomers to our garden this year. I've talked with most of you, and hope to meet the rest of you soon. Our garden is a very special place. I hope you will come to love it like all of us "old timers" do. If you have questions, ask others who are working in the garden, or contact me. My email and phone number are posted on the shed bulletin board. If you are a beginning gardener, you might be interested in participating in Lea's classes on Thursday evenings.  If you are an experienced gardener, speak up. We all learn from each other. 

Plant Sale Thanks to everyone who helped with the plant sale, both working there and donating plants. We made over $120. 
Don't forget the 2nd plant sale on May 12. The emphasis will be on heat-loving plant starts, but the there will be much more. 
If you have extras of anything, consider bringing them on May 12 for the sale. 

Opening work day was a success and probably the most unstressful one yet. We got the new water line installed (thank you Mike Hesch for heading that up); the entire outer perimeter of the fence weeded (wonder how long it will stay that way?); a new bulletin board hung on the inside of the shed door; the compost bins organized for the season; and the corner posts of the plots pounded snuggly for the season. Thanks to all for your help. 

Compost bins: This year the North bin is available for compost while the South bin is cooking.  There are scraps of sheet metal on the top of the south bin to help heat it up. When throwing plants into the compost, remove as much soil from the root ball as you can. And use the small, tender weeds as mulch for your own garden. 

Water system: The water set up is greatly improved this year, with a spigot at each compost bin area. 
The main shut off valve is the yellow handle at the hydrant out by the street. 
The first spigot is at the north bin. It has 4 outlets. Numbering them 1 thru 4, going left to right:
    #1 is the inlet from the hydrant.
    #2 is the off/on valve for the north spigot
    #3 is empty
    #4 is the outlet to the south spigot

    #2 is the only one you need to use. The others stay as they are set. 

The south spigot is straightforward and obvious. 

Our water is metered and we pay for it at the end of the season. Use as much water as you need, but don't waste. Watering at ground level is more efficient than spraying. 

Hoses: There should be enough footage to reach all corners of the garden. I'll double check. When you drag the hose to your plot, keep in on the path and avoid crossing another plot.  The corner posts will help with this.  Store the hoses by splaying them neatly along the paths. This is a lot less tedious than winding them in a circle. 

Straw We have 28 bales of straw reserved for us. I'm not sure when it will arrive or what it will cost. Last year it was $3/bale. 1/2 bale is about enough to cover a large plot and 1/4 bale for a small plot. 

Recurring Reminders--When you leave the garden, always remember to
    turn off the water at both spigots
    lock the shed
    shut the gate
    log any hours you do
Another Reminder: If you are setting up trellises, be sure that the shade that they create does not interfere with a neighbor’s plot. And 4’ should be the maximum height. 

Bindweed This seems to be all over the place this year. It's as noxious as thistle, but more pleasant to pull up, if just as futile. Make a point of keeping this pulled out, especially along the fence. It looks like morning glory vine, but morning glory needs more heat and isn't out yet. 

Voles are back. (For the uninitiated, they look like mice with short tails and nibble at root crops.) Wayne battled them valiantly last year and kept the population down. But I think totally eliminating them is next to impossible. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. I'm considering a bull snake or a black snake. How would people feel about this? 

Gardening at the Speed of Contemplation-One of the quirky garden blogs that I read had this thoughtful post. Here is the link:

Now--Go out and garden!!

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