On Saturday I was at the Farmer’s Market and stopped to water my bed at the community garden. As I was leaving I saw a woman with two young children in tow. From the alley she was pointing things out about the plants so I asked if she’d like to come in. She was delighted. Our deer fence, which isn’t proving very useful in keeping the deer out, does seem to keep people out. That’s unfortunate.
I asked the little girls if they liked carrots. They were willing to try a bite, so I pulled some from my bed, washed them off with the hose (I love having water so close by) and the kids each had the freshest carrot they had ever eaten. I asked if I could take their picture and here it is. The smallest girl is not happy in this photo, but was a minute before when she had a bite of carrot.
These serendipitous moments are the best part of the community garden for me. Did I make a couple of fresh carrot converts on Saturday? Maybe.
We have some new signage in the garden. Val Kenn Gray, Lin Clineburg and Joanne Buritsch collaborated on this sign which thanks the groups whose generous help was instrumental in getting our community garden started. The sign was placed on the side of the garden shed where it is visible and adds some decoration to an otherwise blank wall. Well done! Let’s all remember to thank and patronize the groups that support our community.
Kids, carrots and thank you signs are all a good thing in our St. Michaels Community Garden.
Garden maintenance can be one of the more annoying things about gardening. Weeds are inevitable in the garden, but some are more noxious than others. I blogged previously about poison ivy. Another weed, wire grass (Bermuda grass), is even more troublesome.
Wire grass is a noxious weed that is hard to control.
It grows by rooting runners and underground rhizomes and is almost impossible to get rid of. It has very long roots so no matter how deep you dig, you never seem to get it all. If you’ve ever tried to pull it, it just breaks off and the plant takes that as a green light to grow more.
Wire grass is the one reason we occasionally use Round-up on the mulched paths. It’s the only thing I know of that will kill the roots. You don’t want Round-up sprayed in your garden bed because it is a dangerous chemical and will kill anything green it comes in contact with.Last year when I noticed wire grass coming up in my bed, I used a Q-tip to put Round-up on the sprouting weed. One of the issues in community gardens is that not everyone keeps their gardens weeded. Weeds get tall, seeds are blown into neighboring beds and wire grass creeps. Good bed maintenance makes good neighbors.
Our Watering System
On a recent visit to the garden I noticed the spigot on the hose near my bed had been left open. (See the wire grass creeping out of a neighboring bed. That bed was weeded after I took this photo, but it’s almost impossible to get it all. You can see how it creeps out into the path.)
Below is the way the spigot should be left. Note the closed handle. This will extend the life of our hoses and eliminate leaks so thanks for closing the water spigots.
The recent rains have perked up our veggies, but also the weeds. Please be a good neighbor and keep your bed tidy. Pulling any weeds in the mulched paths will also reduce the need for Round-up.
In any garden maintenance is an ongoing issue. In a community garden maintenance requires people working together. Bridges Landscaping Services delivered a second load of chipped wood to the garden and on Sunday morning five ladies showed up to work. In a little over an hour they had moved all the mulch to the paths between the garden beds. One more load from Bridges should be enough to cover all the open spaces and that maintenance job will be finished for this year.
While we were dumping barrows full of chips, we had to pick up trash from around some beds. Broken rain guages, lots of plant markers, pulled weeds, an occasional stake and a couple of tomato cages. All of us need to be mindful of keeping the garden clean and tidy. For example, if we each pulled weeds from the paths around our beds, we could eliminate most Round-up spraying. That would be a fantastic goal.
Working on projects like this is a terrific way to meet the gardeners. Above are Val Kenn Gray, Pennie Haase, Bev Pratt and Mala Burt. Meg Ingold helped and took the photos. Bobby Malzone, who mows the grass in the garden common areas, stopped by on his bicycle. He was interested in the composting process and wondered if we could get a bag for the mower. That would supply us with green layers for the bins. Bobby had already spread some mulch a day earlier. We were grateful. Maintenance is the job of the entire community garden and every little bit that anyone does helps our garden shine.
Kudos to Jack Gray who, on a recent hot day, dug through clay, brick and oyster shells to install our new sign.