Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Potatoes at the Community Garden Plot

As of April 1st I officially had access to my community garden plot, and I have been there several evenings this week with R working.  (Words of Mommy wisdom: Snacks help facilitate evening gardening!  Apple slices don't make great garden snacks!) 

So far we have gotten a fence up between my plot and that of my neighbor (David?) who is apparently a long-time veteran of these gardens and has already planted several dozen of what look like cauliflower on his side of the border.  Since I prefer to be a good neighbor and R is not exactly known for watching where he steps, I made this fence my number one priority.  After that we measured out the spaces for most of the planting beds and staked the corners with bamboo stakes N cut for me.  We finished the staking tonight and N came out to help me bury the rest of my seed potatoes in their allotted space.  (I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow if the rain isn't too heavy.)  N also ran some string along the opposite side of the garden, just in case someone moves in to the plot over there.

So far I have met two other gardeners out there.  There is one gentleman, Mario, who is almost always there.  I'm pretty sure I met him in 2009 when I went to scope out the gardens and he offered me some tomatoes from his plot.  He's been very helpful; among his useful tips:

1) There is some leaf mold/compost piled near one end of the park, where they dumped leaves and cuttings from the adjacent soccer field last year, free for the hauling.  You don't want to try to drive over there and get it, though, as a lady got her van stuck in the mud trying that earlier this week.  Some friends tried to haul her out with their pickup, but I guess they didn't succeed.  Then this evening they brought in a tow truck to try to pull her out and...the tow truck got stuck.  Luckily some more friends of hers showed up and after more than an hour they were able to extract her van while the tow company sent another truck to get their first truck out.

2) The parks department has promised to install a 10-ft fence around the gardens this year to keep out the deer.  This is a great thing, since the deer tracks I found in my plot today are pretty darn big.  Tonight I noticed they seem to have installed the fence posts along one side already, so I have hope that they will get this done soon.

Mario's plot is giving me garden envy.  He came out right after they numbered the plots several weeks ago and got to work putting in a bed of strawberries.  He's since added several other plants, including some swiss chard, cauliflower and some kind of largish alliums (onion or garlic).  He seems to have quite the operation going, with lots of boards and straw roughly arranged around the plot, and he is sort of working his way back from the front of the plot, hauling in compost, preparing a bed, planting it, and then laying down boards on the other side so he can prepare the next bed.  I am just hoping to get all my beds prepared and planted before the baby comes - everything that's going into the community garden plot is a late summer crop, so if I can get planted it'll just be weeding and watering for a couple months.

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