Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dear Gardeners,
There has been a nice steady rain overnight to help replenish the soil moisture. Some migrating ducks are starting to show up on the lakes and a few loons as well. We have had a lovely fall with time to clean up the garden beds and start planning for next year and still have some greens and onions/chives to enjoy. There are even still a few flowers to brighten the spirits.
This Sunday , November 1, there will be a workday at Eagle Heights from 9 am to noon. There will be care of the fruit trees and path maintenance - a good chance to work off the Halloween calories. If you would like to work, please reply and I'll let you know more details.
We're hoping for nice weather to continue and some larger workdays coming in November if you are still hoping to work. If you would like to pay the "no workday option" fee, please make checks payable to Division of University Housing. Mail or drop off at Eagle Heights Community Center,  ATTN: Gardens, 611 Eagle Heights, Madison, WI 53705.
It really is a great time of year to get outside. Besides cleaning up the garden, there are many ways to celebrate the season. Enjoy walking in the woods through the fallen leaves, stop by the lake to look at the migrating waterfowl, enjoy some hot cider and pumpkin pie and watch for spooky costumes on Halloween (Saturday) evening.
Gretel, Garden Registrar

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dear Gardeners,

One of our gardeners has a special offer for your garden. He makes compost "tea" with active cultures and will be giving it away on Saturday, October 24 in the afternoon. Bring a pint container to get some. Here is his message:
Sat.10/24 @ 3pm I will be handing out 16 oz of Actively aerated compost tea which is enough for 1000 sq ft of soil. I will be at the shed at Eagle Heights garden. One can mix the tea with water for easy sprinkling on the soil. The compost tea is rich with oxygen and microbes. It should be used with 24 hrs for maximum benefits. Microbes do not survive in ultraviolet rays so it  is recommended not to apply between 10am - 3pm. So, come with your container and C U then. I'll be there from 3-4pm Sat.
Thanks to Gary for the tea,
Gretel, Garden Registrar

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dear Gardeners,
Fall leaves are really beautiful now and falling all too quickly. Green vegetables in the gardens will be even sweeter for the frost and you should be getting in garlic soon (or maybe you already have). Shallots are also a possibility for overwintering but be sure to remove the leaf mulch in the spring since the shallots can't push through the leaves as easily as the garlic.
There will be a workday at Eagle Heights on Saturday morning, Oct. 24,  from 8 am to 11 am. There will be fall chores to do and common area maintenance. Reply to this message and I'll let you know if there is still room. There will be workdays into November, but we start to have weather complications so if you would like to pay the "no workday option", make the check out to Division of University Housing ($32 for a large plot; $16 for a small) and drop off/mail to the Eagle Heights Community Center, ATTN: Gardens, 611 Eagle Heights, Madison, WI 53711.
Please remember to put the Dec. 15 date on your calendar for applying for a 2016 garden plot. Every gardener (returning or new) needs to reapply each year and 2016 applications will be available on our website by mid-December. Returning gardeners in good standing can apply for their same plot if they like and I will try within the priority system to get it back for you. Small plot gardeners can apply for a large plot as a returning gardener (or a second small plot if you would like to keep your old small plot). But.... you must apply by the deadline of Feb. 15, 2016 when I start assigning plots. Applications after that date are taken only after all the on-time applications are assigned. Every year, some returning gardeners are disappointed when they fail to reapply by the deadline and their plot gets reassigned. I'll try within the priority system to get you your desired plots as best I can but I can only do that for on-time applications.
Hoping you are saving some of your produce for Thanksgiving dinner! Nothing is like baked squash or pumpkin pie to celebrate the harvest.
Gretel, Garden Registrar

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dear Gardeners,
The Monarch butterflies and hummingbirds are getting scarce as they leave for warmer weather and the leaves on the trees are turning wonderful colors. It is cool and a great time to be out cleaning up the gardens and tending the late crops. We have been very lucky with this weather so I hope you have time to get out and enjoy it.
Saturday, Oct. 10, there will be a workday at Eagle Heights to work on the common area from 8 am to 11 am. If you would like to work this opportunity, please reply and I'll get you more information.
The workday obligation needs to be met by Dec. 1 . If you haven't done a workday and can't do a workday soon, you can fulfill the obligation by paying the "no workday option" fee ($32 for a large plot; $16 for a small plot). Make the check out to Division of University Housing and mail or drop off at the Eagle Heights Community Center, ATTN: Gardens, 611 Eagle Heights, Madison, WI, 53705.
We've been lucky with rains this fall and the water will be shut off sometime in mid-October so that we don't have problems with freezing in the pipes. With cooler temperatures and fewer crops, we still can expect to harvest some items up to a hard freeze but we can't chance the irrigation system. Some greens are even better after a light frost so don't pull things out too soon. We are hoping to get in leaves for mulch as they start to fall (both garden sites) so there should be plenty of mulch that will help with soil preparation in the spring and insulation for garlic that is planted this fall. Some years with mild winters, spinach and chard planted now will overwinter to provide fresh greens in early spring. You might want to put in just a little to see if you can get it to survive with a bit of leaf mulch. Those first spring crops are mighty tasty and El Nino means we don't have a good idea of how cold this winter will be.
Hope to see you in the gardens on these glorious fall days!
Gretel, Garden Registrar