Important Note: The Community Garden is an “Organic” garden, meaning we do not use artificial chemicals in fertilizer, pesticides or plant amendments. Any outside supply of these items should be reviewed with staff to be sure it does not have artificial chemicals.
A Good Garden Season begins with Good Soil Preparation
Your garden has had amendments added to it over the last few years but those amendments have been consumed by the organisms that live in your garden. Soil improvement may be necessary every year.
SOIL – How to improve your soil.
- Add manure – found in the bins at the rear of the garden.
Manure should be aged before adding to your garden.
- Add compost – may be purchased or if available in bins at rear of garden.
- Purchased compost – usually comes in a bag, or bulk from Plant Fair Nursery. Purchased compost must be organic or natural. No chemicals or fertilizers may be part of the ingredients.
- Alfalfa – may be added. Used in pellet form it adds nitrogen to the soil. Alfalfa pellets break down faster than in the bale and should be worked into the soil. Alfalfa Pellets – containing Cured Alfalfa and Cane Molasses and no other ingredients are available at Tractor Supply.
- Other amendments – organic or OMRI approved for use in organic gardens they may be used. If in doubt, please ask staff members before purchasing and using.
The advantages of a box are: soil is contained within the bed, gardening depth for the soil is easier to increase and maintain, soil warms faster, and drainage is improved.
A garden is 6’x25’x1′ high. The distance between beds is: 3′ on each side, 3′ on the “alley” which is where the water lines are, and 5′ on the “street” side.
To avoid damage to the water supply pipes please do not drive wheelbarrows or pull wagons down the “alley”.
Each garden has an address sign. Please do not hang anything on or place hoses around the sign.
Spreading at least 2 inches of chips in all aisles/walkways around your garden will greatly reduce the number of weeds!
You are responsible for keeping all the aisles/walkways around your garden free of weeds, sticks, rocks, hoses and any other items that may pose a hazard to other gardeners.
All containers must be kept within your garden. This includes: tool buckets, watering cans, alfalfa tea barrels, etc. All lids should be securely fastened to their containers
You may request tilling of your garden in the spring. The tilling will be done by garden staff after you have added all your amendments, ie: manure, alfalfa pellets, compost, etc. and raked it in. Sign-up on the tilling list at the garden shed.
Please remove any items that may be in the way of the tiller or operator. Remove any large, visible rocks, in or outside your garden, wire, or string, etc. before signing up.
Soaker lines and dedicated drip systems are used when connecting to the automatic water system. The gardens are automatically watered 3 times a week during normal weather and 4 times a week when the temperature rises.
Hand watering, using the purple faucets, is allowed when you are planting seeds and for newly transplanted veggies.
Please do not connect your water system to the purple lines and use it as a constant means for watering your garden.
Purple lines are for hand watering your garden if necessary.
Garden hoses are not provided by the Garden. All hoses must be disconnected from the purple faucets after use and removed from the aisle.
The automatic water system is adequate to water your garden and keep your plants healthy and happy. If you feel the need to hand water please check your soil before you water. You are responsible to insure your garden water system is operating properly – no leaks, broken lines, plugged hoses, or missing parts.
Watch the class on watering for instructions on effective watering techniques, how to test your soil before you hand water, and proper hose and connection methods for building your water system and connecting to the automatic water system. Keep garden hoses within your garden and not in the aisles/walkways.
Covers for your garden serve a multitude of purposes – from moisture conservation to shade and insect protection.
Covers at seed planting time protect the seedlings from washing away as you water and help maintain moisture or keep warmth in the soil. There are many types of covers and weights – light, medium or heavy. Each has a purpose. A light weight cover may be used for wind and insect protection, medium for light shade, or heavy if frost threatens transplants. All covers and supporting hoops must be securely fastened or weighted down and kept out of the aisles around your garden.
Hoops, made either from 1/2″ PVC or concrete ladders, may be used to support cover fabric. One 10′ length will make an arch of the appropriate height to cover your garden without encroaching on the “sunlight space” of the garden next to you. Use rebar stakes to anchor the PVC pipes and also secure the concrete ladders.
There are staff members available to answer your questions.