Community Garden Update: 17 March 2024

This week we spent Friday and Sunday morning in the garden. On the south side, and along the far edge, I planted onion and garlic sets. Today I cast onion seed on the entire parcel as a way of using those seeds up, and filled our containers with a mixture of arugula, lettuce, and mixed herbs. I also made a bed of carrots, and I set up some supports for the area where I decided I would probably plant our white beans when the time comes.

The other half of our parcel is still bare. In my grow tent, I have tomatoes, peppers, corn, peas, squash, cucumber, and zucchini that I’ll be planting out in a couple months.

Aside from plantings, I’ve pruned back and otherwise cleaned up the “wild” area at the front of our parcel. It seems like only one or two of our gift plants from last year has died completely. The two trees that started growing are still there and putting out buds. I haven’t done anything for them except water them. Have you ever heard of watering a tree? I hadn’t until a friend was telling me about how he had to ask an arborist why the tree by his house was struggling. This wasn’t a tiny sapling like our trees but still a young tree. Apparently the arborist’s advice was the water it. It makes sense I guess but I feel like most of us look at trees as something that don’t need our help, right?

Discoveries

Like I mentioned before, this year I’m trying to work more with the chaos of our growing space than against it. Today that took the form of making a mushroom habitat in the shade of the containers. Last season we used some branches that had been pruned off one of the community garden’s trees as stakes. This morning I noticed mushrooms growing on one of them, so I set it over in the shade and broke down the rest of the branches and tucked them in the moist shade as well. I’m taking the mushrooms as a good sign; that the soil is retaining moisture and full enough with organic matter to support them.

Are three small mushroom habitats going to be enough to restore the mycelium network on our parcel? Probably not but biodiversity rules. My main worry is that other members of the community garden aren’t as open minded and will equate these new little friends with powdery mildew and demand their destruction.

We were gifted a couple lilies last season by a fellow gardener and not only have most of them survived but new ones are popping out throughout the parcel. I dig them out and move them to designated Flower Containment Zones. I’m not sure exactly what species it is but it’s definitely resilient.

The last find was a beet. I imagine it was a seed sown last year that finally hit the right combination of temperature and moisture to germinate. It probably did so before I double-dug the parcel because it was half buried when I pulled it up today. I set it in one of the containers, and hopefully the leaves will dry out or at least not spread some kind of disease to the whole plant.