Political Commentary

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

From the Gardens Registrar: Putting Your Garden to Bed; Lasagna Gardening; Garden Co-Chair Still Needed; Garlic Workshop October 7; No Workday This Weekend

Hello Gardeners,       

PUTTING YOUR GARDEN TO BED FOR THE SEASON – If you planted fall crops, you won’t be shutting your plot down for a few weeks yet. But if you mainly grow tomatoes and other summer vegetables, this is a good time to start preparing your plot for the winter. Please do this whether you are returning to your garden next year or not. If you’ll be gardening again next spring, you’ll appreciate being able to plant right away as soon as the ground has thawed. But if your plot will be hosting new gardeners next year, please help them by giving them a cleared plot to start their garden in. Especially for new gardeners, starting out with a plot that’s a wreck makes for frustration and disappointment, and often leads to failure. Please leave your plot the way you would like to find it in the spring.

The first thing to do is to haul your dead plants and weeds to the weed pile. But please remember to shake off as much of the dirt as you can – we want as little dirt as possible in the weed pile. (If there’s too much dirt, it won’t get picked up, and we’ll have to pay to haul it to a landfill, so this is important.) After you’ve cleared the plot, please bring a few loads of leaves from the leaf pile and spread them on the plot. This will protect your soil from erosion, and the leaves will add nutrients to the soil as they decay.

LASAGNA GARDENING – Lasagna gardens aren’t gardens with tomatoes, basil, and cheese – they are gardens that are layered. Fall is probably the best time to start this type of garden. You can start by clearing and hauling away weeds – or else you can just knock the weeds down and leave them in the plot – they’ll get covered up and will add nutrients to the soil as they decay. You then cover each bed with cardboard, and then layers of other materials – leaf mulch, newspapers, compost, straw, whatever you have. Water it well (especially after you put down the newspapers, because otherwise you’ll be chasing them all over the garden if it’s a windy day.) Then leave it for the winter. In the spring, the layers will still be there, but your plants will quickly feed on the nutrients and decompose the layers, while the cardboard will keep out a lot of the weeds. You can plant right into the layers – you don’t dig up a lasagna garden. My lasagna garden is in its third year – it’s been reasonably productive, and very easy to take care of. I’m going to add more newspaper and leaves to it this fall. Here are some instructions: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-make-a-lasagna-garden-2539877

I do want to mention that I know a very good gardener with a lasagna garden who lost everything she planted to voles – that is a possible drawback to the method.

GARDEN CO-CHAIR STILL NEEDED – I can’t believe the response to the request for a new garden co-chair! Which is to say, not a single person has responded. We will need a new co-chair to replace Janet, who is leaving in November. If you care about the Gardens, if you have ideas on how to run them better, if you want to ensure that they continue into the future, or if you’re just looking for something to add to your resume, (in case you’re hoping one day to be appointed to the Supreme Court, for instance), please consider applying. It’s very little work – one meeting per month, and an occasional dispute to settle. We’d prefer a one-year commitment. Please let me know if you’re interested or you’d like more information. 

GARLIC WORKSHOP – Gary K’s garlic workshop, Growing Great Garlic, will be held on Saturday, October 6, 10 – 11:30, at the Eagle Heights shed. Growing Great Garlic will cover seed selection, soil preparation, planting, and harvesting next year. Gary will have handouts – only in English. You don’t want to start your garlic before you’ve heard Gary’s advice.

NO WORKDAY THIS WEEKEND – Looks like rain both days, so we’re not planning one.

Happy Gardening,

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