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Colby's Tremendous Tomatoes--Coming Attraction to the Garland Community Garden!

March 12 Colby Clark is shown above turning the organic matter that will soon be home to numerous tomato plants.  Colby, a Garland fireman and a member of Loving Garland Green was busy at work turning what will be home to about 25 tomato plants in front of the Garland Community Garden.  Colby not only has tomatoes for his garden, he has 150 that will be ready for Loving Garland Green's Seedling Sale April 11 down at the garden.  I hope you'll mark your calendar.

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The Children's Garden area at Garland Community Garden is growing and growing. . .
We hope this garden area will encourage children and their parents to use their imaginations and have fun together in their gardens. Lifelong happy memories with a parent or grandparent can be born in the garden.

We are slowly moving out of the gardener's nether world of seed catalog dreams and into the reality of our garden.  Last Saturday we added four containers to the Children's Garden.  Now we have seven containers already growing plants:  The three repurposed black containers contain perennial flowers--bearded irises, phlox and yarrow.  The four bag containers feature carrots in the two rooster sacks and potatoes in the taller deer corn sacks.  

Our garden is not designed with a bunch of wooden sided, standard sized, raised beds--although these gardens with their uniformity have their own beauty.  We have designed the Garland Community in a free style.  Some of our garden areas are container gardens which range in diversity from a tall commercial planter with tulips (to come) to the feed sacks shown above which were purchased from a local feed and seed store for ten cents each and planted with edibles.   The Children's Garden is a large somewhat square spiral. At its center we will feature a fairy house and garden.

Two hybrid Celebrity tomatoes were added on March 11--even though we'll likely have to cover both of them with a five-gallon bucket prior to Easter.  Vegetables and strawberries will also be planted in it soon.  Small signs will tell the children about the various veggies.  As each vegetable is ready for harvest we will have signs indicating the plan is ready to have its bounty picked and eaten.   We limit these harvests to those under the age of 18. 

Other areas of our garden feature various popular garden formats such as two square foot gardens, a concrete block garden, a keyhole garden, and two plots made from a repurposed IBC tote. One very attractive bed was designed by one of our members, Nancy Lovett.  She had a tree cut down at her home and cut the branches into approximate 12 inch high stumps which now enclose Nancy's bed.  Most of the beds, however, have no border.  These are the most inexpensive.  

The soil in our beds is primarily created from brown and green organic matter that we have gathered and put on a sheet of cardboard we laid down to kill the grass.  Just prior to planting we will add a three inch mixture of compost and garden soil.  We want to demonstrate to the people who live in our community that if you are patient you can create a garden with "found organic matter"  such as leaves and uncooked vegetable scraps, seeds and cuttings from your neighbors.  You don't have to be an "expert" although you can learn from the experts at the Master Gardeners Texas AgriLife site and classes.  You can also learn from the experts you find at your local garden stores.  For us in Garland that means Roach Feed and Seed and Rhodes.

Also, our transported forest floor continues to expand.  If you live in the Garland area and have bagged leaves, please drop them off at 4022 Naaman School Road. You can leave the bags by the compost bins.  Also please save your veggie waste (those cut ends from fresh veggies and those fresh veggies you forgot about that are now wilted in your refrigerator).   We now have two large green containers at the garden just waiting for them.  We will use this organic matter for trench composting right in the beds.

We are beginning to get our new signs posted in the garden.  The one above announces the arrival of The Children's Garden.  Yesterday we also added one that explains the Three Sister's Bed, the Medicine Wheel and another sign that explains how we make the soil at the Garland Community Garden.

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