Mike Aube from Troop 810 in Broadview Heights took on an Eagle Scout project to create greater curb appeal for the Greene Acres Community Garden. The project began at the end of the 2016 season and the final touches were added this week. Mike started the project by talking with several garden members to get landscaping ideas and formulate a plan within a specified budget. Once the plan was approved he led a group of youth and adult volunteers from the troop to prepare the soil near the fence line, install landscaping fabric, plant bushes, and mulch with wood chips. He also directed the installation of a flagstone walkway at the gate and added rocks to the landscaping. The bushes appear to be taking well to the surroundings and the garden has received a well deserved face lift. Thank you Mike and Troop 810 for your hard work.
At our first meeting for 2017, we reviewed several gardening topics particularly relevant for getting the garden ready for Spring. Here’s a summary of what we discussed, just in case you missed the meeting, or already need a refresher!
- Planning: Now’s time to pore over all those seed catalogs and sketch out your plot on paper. Remember to pay attention to spacing, the seasons (cool or warm), and crop rotation. The handout on planning is on this website. Use it!
- Spring Soil Work: Your first visit to your plot in March will be not only exciting, but you may have some work to do to get ready for planting. Your fall cover crop should be winter killed. If not, you can cut off the above-ground foliage and compost it. You can gently work in the killed vegetation a bit so the microherd can continue its work. Then add 2-3” of leaf compost from our wonderful leaf windrow outside the west fence. Dig down deep – the best stuff is below the surface! Finally, you can also add some balanced fertilizer (organic, of course) to your plot so that your spring veggies will have nutrients waiting for them.
Gary W., one of our plotholders, found a soil elixir mix that looks very interesting. Here is the link: http://www.underwoodgardens.com/spring-garden-soil-elixir/
If you decide to try it, let me know how it worked. Perhaps the Education Workgroup can do a two-plot comparison this year seeing what differences it might make in soil quality.
- Spring Planting: Remember the last spring frost date (LSF) in Broadview Heights is May 20-22. Here’s several veggies you can sow in our first cool season:
- Peas, spinach (4-6 weeks before LSF)
- Lettuce, beets, carrots (2 weeks before LSF)
Remember, things like beans and cucumbers should not be sown before the LSF. The real heat lovers (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) must be grown as transplants and not put out until late May, or even the first week in June.
The Education Workgroup is working on organizing an Indoor Seed Starting workshop and a demonstration on collecting a soil sample for testing. If you’re interested, please let me know.
I’d also like to organize a seed swap next January. So, if you have leftover seed from this season, keep them in the original package, in the refrigerator. Hopefully, you can trade for something else next year.
Of course, if there are other gardening topics you’re interested in learning about, suggest them to me.
As always please feel free to ask any questions about gardening at Greene Acres. You can contact me at email@example.com.
On August 20th we had the first of its’ kind members meeting at the garden. Roughly 30-35 members and guests were in attendance to hear about the progress of work group initiatives, plans for the future, and informative guest speakers. Mike Vantusko began by welcoming all the members and guests and then introduced Bob Greene to say a few words. Bob is very pleased with the way the garden has developed over the years. He enjoys seeing so many plots growing so well and is looking forward to seeing what happens next. After hearing from Mr. Greene, each of the work group leaders and board members made their reports. Followed by a brief talk from Jo Ann Bartsch on Fall Vegetable Gardening and Composting. At the end of the official meeting ice cream was served to everyone that participated. Lastly, we were treated to two very interesting guest speakers. Keith Gaydosh from South Hills Lend-A-Hand and Jennifer Johnson from Native Roots Inc.