Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things to Do in the Garden

Following is a helpful list of garden tasks from garden member Claire Merlino: Since everyone can’t attend every garden meeting and work day, it’s good to keep in mind the kinds of plant grooming and other garden maintenance tasks that can (and need) to happen regularly, whenever anyone has time. During garden sitting hours is great.
Trash by the birdbath.
Trash. Of course, generally first, is cleaning up any trash that’s blown into the garden or around the sidewalk keeping in mind that we’re working towards being a “garbage in – garbage out” garden. If it’s not a tremendous amount of trash, kindly take it home and place it in your garbage for pick-up. If it’s a lot of stuff, kindly black bag it (there are large black bags in the shed) and place it at the corner for the Parks Department to pick up. Hopefully this season they’ll pick up regularly (Sundays maybe) like last year.

Blossom Deadheading. This time of year there’s lots of faded bulb blossoms that need to be removed, partly for the good of the plant so they don’t set seed and deplete next year’s bulb stores and partly because they look crummy. You can either nip off the faded bloom with your fingers, scissors of pruning shears or cut the whole stem down as close to the bottom as you have time or attention for. If you don’t know which are the bulb blossoms (now tulips and daffodils) kindly come to a workday and learn more, you’re not alone. Whoever works on deadheading, kindly be mindful of emerging plants and be very careful where you step. If your target plant is too far out of reach, just leave it rather than inadvertently trampling some innocent plantlets.

Grass Trimming & Weeding. The lawn grass (as differentiated from the ornamental grasses) is really zooming along with the increasingly warm weather. (Thank you Robie for your excellent early spring attention to the lawn!) Something that really needs attention mid-spring is the edges of the grass, particularly adjacent to the boxes that the mower can’t reach readily. While you may want to keep some violets or other spring ephemerals while they’re blooming next to your plot, kindly trim the grass. The grass along the borders is a different story since there are some plants that we keep close to the grass as well as weeds that we try to keep to a minimum. Mostly it’s the “ground-ivy”/“gill-over-the-ground” that’s a real problem when it gets in the lawn. We’ll continue to remove plaintain from all lawn areas. For those who aren't familiar it's the broad-leaved, close to the ground plant that's in a lot of places. While, like many plants that some consider weeds, it has medicinal properties, that benefit is outweighed when the lawn grass is really affected. Of course if folks want to use the plaintain, just come by and help yourselves. While we keep some non-grass plants in the lawn, we remove the assertive ones. If the plants adjacent to the borders are unknown to you, join us for our hands-on tutorial work sessions.

Grape Vine Trimming. We’ve got quite a bit of dead wood on the grape vines that’s now showing as the leaves are emerging so we need to prune off the deadwood being careful to stay away from live wood. Again, if that’s unfamiliar, come to a work session.
Some plants can be left along the pathway, such as violets, sedum and columbine, as seen in this photo.
Walkway Weeding. The cool season weeds are very happy right now as those gardeners who’ve valiantly been pulling weeds know so well! The garden always needs help with path weeding. Here and there are some plants that we leave, like violets, columbine, sedums, etc. So if you’re new to the those occasional plants, just check in. There’re plenty of path sections that are just plain weedy.
This photo of a tiny watering can is the only one I had to demonstrate watering. I suggest you use a larger watering can.
Watering. Considering that we’ve just had a very dry April this is a reminder to give all the plants a good watering. Especially, give attention to raised bed veggies that you take care of and the borders. If you’re not sure if someone else has watered before you, just see if the soil is moist about 1 to 2 inches deep. If not, get out the watering cans or hose and play.

There’s always more, see you in the garden!

SAVE THE DATE: Tag Sale Saturday, June 8

A reminder: The Summit Street Community Garden Sale is Saturday, June 8, from 9 am–2 pm. (Rain date is Sunday, June 9.) If you’re doing some spring cleaning, please consider donating some items to the tag sale.
Most items are welcome: Books, records, jewelry and small appliances that work,  as well as children’s clothes, books and toys (clean and gently used, no broken toys or missing parts please). As for clothes, please donate seasonal items; no winter items unless they’re vintage. We’ll also be accepting and selling some baked goods, homemade pickles and jellies.

To donate items, simply bring your tag sale donations to the garden at 8:30 am. If you’d like to reclaim unsold items at the end of the day, then stop by at 3 pm. Otherwise, all unsold items will be donated.
Five volunteers each are needed to fill the following time slots:
8:30–11 am (set up & work event)
11 am–1 pm (work event)
1–3 pm (work event/ break down)

Please sign up through the Google calendar. On June 8, click on the individual time slot you want to sign up for and then click “edit.” Then enter your email address in the "add guest" space to add yourself (on the right side of the page). Click to save changes.  

All proceeds will benefit the garden, with money raised going to pay for plants, garden tools and the monthly water bill. Tag sale organizer Denise Connors says, “It will be a great sale to benefit the garden with everyone’s help.”