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Our garden is filled with pollinators. The photo above is a native bumblebee we saw on a Cosmos September 27, 2016

COME TO THE GARLAND COMMUNITY GARDEN!

Come to the Garland Community Garden this Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 AM.  The garden is located at 4055 Naaman School Road Garland 75040.

The pollinator bio blitz is an event hosted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  It begins on Saturday October 7th and lasts through October 16th.  This nine-day event provides participants all over Texas with the opportunity to view pollinators in action and share their observations with thousands of other Texans.

During the pollinator bio blitz, participants of all ages will be encouraged to find pollinators and nectar-producing plants.  (Our Garland Community Garden is filled with them.) They will be encouraged to share their findings on  Instagram or iNaturalist

iNaturalist is the best place in my opinion to post your photos and findings.  Visit  iNaturalist. and you’ll see how it’s set up.

Go to  (http://tpwd.texas.gov/education/bioblitz/registration) to register for receiving daily emails Oct 7 -16 with tips from the Texas Parkas and Wildlife Department on how to take great photos and more!

So what’s happening at the Garland Pollinator Bio Blitz Jump Start Saturday Oct 1st?

  • FREE WILDFLOWER SEEDS:  Loving Garland Green will be handing out packets of wildflower seeds.  The ideal time for planting these seeds is right around our first frost.  Wildflower seeds do better if planted in the fall.  However planting them too early in the fall might cause them to germinate.  This would not be good since they would not have time to flower and make more seeds prior to the first frost.

  • FREE INFORMATION:  We will be handing out information regarding how you can participate in the pollinator bio blitz.

  • LEARNING:  You will have the opportunity to view and learn about a large hugelkultur we are completing near the end of October.  November 1st we will seed it with wildflowers and other native plants.  We will also hand out information on hugelkulturs for those who are interested in building their own.

  • SEEING:  You will be able to see what a great place the Garland Community Garden is for pollinators so you’ll know where to go to take some great photos for the Bio Blitz starting on October 7.

  • HARVESTING: Loving Garland Green will also be harvesting peanuts and demonstrating the shucking of a few loofahs.  If you wonder where peanuts come from and/or if you would like for your children to learn where they come from—come on down to the Garland Community Garden Oct 1 at 9:30 AM

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Large healthy Turks Cap growing in the hugelkultur at Watson Tech Center in Garland—testimony to the water efficiency of a hugelkultur and using native plants.  This plant more than quadrupled its original size (planted in May) over the summer with no water other than rainfall.

SPEAKING OF HUGELKULTURS, LET’S TALK ABOUT WATSON TECHNOLOGY CENTER

 Today Charlie and I made a run to Watson to deliver the trellised pot of green beans we used for a demo at the Live Well Go Green event last weekend.  We had not been back to Watson since last May when we spent a grueling day (6 hours) building a hugelkultur assisted by parents, students and Jennifer Clements, one of the second grade teachers at Watson Tech.  It was near the end of the school year with only a couple of weeks left.  Still we wanted to plant something in the hugelkultur just to see what would happen over the summer when it was deserted for three months.  I don’t think the Turks Cap got much, if any, attention over the summer.  We were shocked to see that not only had it survived, it had quadrupled in size.  It will be interesting to see how other plants grow in this bed. 

 

Jennifer Clements, Second Grade Teacher Watson Technology Center holding lantana with olive trees in foreground – September 28, 2016

 In addition to the pot of green beans we also delivered two olive trees, two lantana bushes, a pot with kale growing in it, and a second pot destined for bean planting by Jennifer’s students.  This pot was complete with the soil and trellis.  The two bean pots and the kale pot are for demonstrations to the students that you don’t need a “back forty” to grow some of the food you eat.  A lot of good food can be grown in containers on a deck or patio.

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NOTE:  Olive trees are generally not recommended for North Texas.  However if you keep them in pots and can protect them sufficiently when the weather is below 20 degrees F, then you can have olive trees.    Once the trunks are about an inch in diameter they are more cold hardy but still would likely not survive an ice storm.  Since Watson Tech has a schoolyard garden and a greenhouse we thought it would be nice to let the students see if they can produce olives.  At the least it would be educational for them to see olive trees and learn about them.

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