Returning to the Garland Community Garden on Easter Before the Rain
It's no secret: I love the Garland Community Garden. I like to be there. The air of the garden is filled with hope and promise of good things to come. It's not much to look at now but if you close your eyes and imagine, you can see the vision to come. In a month it will be lovely and perhaps already feeding people. I hope you'll stop by and have a look. Bring a gallon of water with you. If one of the plants looks thirsty, please give it a drink. Soon we will have a mailbox at the site where you can leave a note if you like. Also, sometime within the next two weeks we will have small signs on the bed providing a little information about the type of bed, the assigned stewards, and the expected yields. Thus far we have 70 square feet planted.
Easter Sunday I stopped in at the garden to view the cement block bed we put in on Saturday. Someone (probably Gene Rodgers) had stopped by and filled the bucket currently serving as the reservoir for the ollas in our first bed. The plants in the new bed looked droopy so I went home and filled three five-gallon buckets with water. As I was filling the buckets in my driveway, I looked at two empty pots (recycled trash bins actually) in my driveway. Last year they were home to a prolific eggplant and my one producing tomato plant. The rest is now history: I went to the store and purchased two Marion heirloom tomato plants, loaded the pots and installed them (along with two ollas in each pot) in front of the cement block raised bed we put in on Saturday.
Each pot contains two ollas filled with water before I left home. They are buried in the pots and the hole in top is covered with a shell. Unlike Gene's more sophisticated system, these pots will be filled manually via the little hole in top that was once the bottom of a flower pot.
Below is a photo of the ollas submerged in the pot with shells covering the holes.
After the Easter Rain at the Garland Community Garden
Below is a view of the bed with its two container gardens this morning after the Easter rain. All the plants looked perky and happy.
After the Easter Rain in My Urban Garden--First Harvest for 2014
Last year in June I planted strawberries in the beds where I planted blue berry bushes. This morning, when I was out and about in my garden. . . Low and behold. . . and yes I promptly ate it. The joys of perennials are great--year after year.
And I basked in the beauty of my little rose bush that I planted last year alongside one of the raised beds for my blueberries.
Don't say you can't do it. You can. Don't say it's too late to plant this year. I began the first real garden of my life last year (2013) on June 12. I didn't know enough to realize that it was "too late" to plant Swiss Chard and Kale and carrots. I planted them from seed and enjoyed them from July through November.
Two big secrets are 1) soil amendments and 2) raised beds. And this year, I expect ollas, along with mulching, to reduce the need for water by at least 50% in my urban garden. I'm also looking forward to building the keyhole garden on May 3 and installing it with other members of Loving Garland Green at the Garland Community Garden.
As I sometimes attend meetings of the good intention club, I lean heavily toward perennials. They come highly recommended for the lazy gardener. In addition to all my berry bushes, perennial flowers, and fruit trees, last year; I planted a rhubarb and this year I've planted asparagus--both of which are perennial vegetables.