Pole Bean Bed To Be - By the end of May these poles will feature beautiful leaves and green beans.
2017 at the Garland Community Garden
Members of Loving Garland Green are excited about the upcoming year at the Garland Community Garden. Already in these very first days of the new year we’ve seen a lot of interest expressed regarding the garden and have received many requests on the "Contact Us" section of our website at lovinggarlandgreen.org. People are interested in working with us to increase the number of residents in Garland who grow some of the food they eat. Like us, they know that such activities grow our local economy and increase the food security of our community.
Leaves for Garden Soil--Not Landfill Soil
There has been an overwhelming response to our November Leaf Awareness campaign—in fact, it seems to have no end. Residents throughout December and now moving into January, continue to drop off bags of leaves at the Garland Community Garden. Until we began our campaign, all Garland residents we asked mistakenly believed the leaves they left curbside were composted. This is not the case. Leaves left curbside in Garland are taken and deposited in the Hinton Landfill. We are happy to report now that citizens know better, they are taking actions to divert their leaves from the landfill.
The best solution for leaves is to compost them as near as possible to the place where they fall. Composting leaves in your yard saves on fuel, wear and tear on our roads, reduces air pollution and provides other benefits as well—such as cost savings for soil amendments that are needed.
From its very inception, the Garland Community Garden has relied on the bounty of leaves in Garland to create and enrich the soil in our garden. The property we steward was once a residential area. Here and there one will find leftover foundations and driveways. Instead of digging down to create our beds, we have built most of our beds up, on top of the existing soil and other things nonorganic such as concrete. The method we used is often referred to as "the lasagna garden bed." It is created by layering organic materials: Begin with a weed barrier of cardboard. Then crumple wet card board and newspaper on top of that. Pile a layer of brown organic matter such as leaves. On top of the dry leaves put a layer of green organic matter such as trimmings from shrubs or uneaten vegetables from your refrigerator bin. Water well between each layer. Top of with a 4 inch layer of garden soil and compost. These beds usually take a year to mature. At first they will be about 18 inches to 2 feet high, but over time as the matter decomposes into rich soil, the bed will end up being about 6 to 8 inches high.
In the past year we have been following the hugelkultur method for building our beds. In fact, we are also using that method to amend our existing beds. To do this we dig down to the bottom of the existing bed and insert rotten logs that have been soaked in water. These logs provide time released nutrients to the bed as they decay. In addition, their spongy surface holds water and provides needed moisture to the plants growing above it. Proponents of this type of garden bed say that it is ideal--especially for drought prone areas. Some claim that, except in cases of extreme drought, these beds require no additional water other than rainfall and no added fertilizers.
NOTE: The City of Garland offers a composting class twice a year: in the spring and in the fall. Call 972-205-3500 for more information about these classes.