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Thursday, May 15, 2014

this week in the garden

I've mentioned that this season I'll be tending a plot at the community garden I direct and also trying to create an urban garden on our porch deck.  Today I have a few photos of our community garden to share with you!  I planted a lot of seeds in the bed about three weeks ago, and with the cold crummy weather we've been having the plants are just now starting to emerge.  So far I have peas and...

Yay for lettuce!  I planted six varieties this year (and the only names I remember right now are Merlot and Freckles).  I am obsessed with the delicious, fresh taste of garden lettuce.  Pretty soon I'll be swimming in it!  

I also have some radishes popping up.  Like I've said before, I don't love radishes, but I love having something to harvest from the garden early in the season.  And radishes fit the bill! 

Elsewhere at the community garden, the strawberry plants that we transplanted look like they're doing very well.  I think we should get some strawberries from them pretty soon!  Assuming the squirrels don't eat them all first.

The cold frames we built a few weeks ago are being put to good use!  I wish I could claim credit for any part of this project or these plants, but alas, I cannot.  My friend built these frames from scratch and grew these gorgeous plants from seed.  He's pretty amazing.  His secret is a seed heating pad (that I'm borrowing now for my babies) and a good grow light system.  I'm hoping to copy his methods next season since my seed starting efforts were not nearly as successful. 

One helpful way to use a cold frame is to harden off plants you've started from seeds.  Since they're only accustomed to indoor conditions, baby plants grown from seed need to slowly acclimate to outdoor weather and sunlight.  Propping the cold frame open a bit can help regulate the cold frame temperature so the little babies don't get overheated! 

One of the biggest community garden projects this season is getting our food forest area back under control.  We spent a lot of time planting edible plants on the far side of this space two seasons ago, and now the area has been almost entirely taken over by bindweed and thistle.  There was a large space that we had not planted yet but had begun prepping for more edibles, and the bindweed basically used this area as a vaccuum for explosive growth.  We tried pulling it out, but it just kept coming back!!  Then we saw photos of its 20 foot deep root system and knew we had to take extreme measures. 

After lots of research and discussion, we decided to tarp the whole area the weed-that-must-not-be-named had taken over.  We'll cover it with mulch and focus our efforts on pulling the b-weed on the perifery of the area.  Crossing our fingers that this will help us beautify this area!

Thanks so much for reading!  For more community garden posts, read here. 

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