March 10 and 11, 2019

We had a BEAUTIFUL day on Sunday March 10, and a few gardeners came out to enjoy it. We planted peas! In Bed 4, and also in the East entry culvert beds, so we’ll have a bunch if they all come up. We also dug in all the cover crops, and started doing a bit of weeding in the area around the kiosk, and pulled up the dead plum tree. We’ll try to return it for a replacement – another plum if we can find it, and will also look for another mini tree so we can have 3 in that orchard area. We also spread the last of the wonderful zoo doo on a few beds in preparation for planting.

Monday March 11 we transplanted strawberries from the challenging orchard area into the tall bed in the SE corner, and nearly filled the bed! it should be an inviting place for young foragers, and with irrigation in place we may just get a hearty and long season of them. We also planted some carrots in a small part of Bed 6, where some little greens had been struggling all winter and had started to bolt. We also weeded a small area and laid down burlap bags and covered them with chips, right next to the kiosk. We also pruned the fig tree a little bit (not drastically like the peach tree).

Come join us next Monday, March 18 and let’s start planting spring greens (and spreading more chips). Sorry, forgot to take any pictures today.

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March 4, 2019

Yay – we had 3 gardeners today! We finished pruning the peach tree, and pulled up all the overwintering daikon radishes to make way for the peas. The radishes didn’t make any radish roots, but the soil is really nice and moist and fluffy, so they worked well as a cover crop.

Laurie and I both took pea seeds home to germinate for next time we meet, which will be SUNDAY MARCH 10, from noon to 2. Come out and plant peas, maybe it won’t be so darn cold by that time! That said, the garden is one of the sunniest places around, so come out and get warm!

No photos today, but next time!

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February 25, 2019

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Well, we did get snowed out on Feb 10 and 11 and I’m not sure if anyone showed up on Feb 18, but I went to the garden today and did a bit of “tidying up”. I hope others will start joining in on Mondays from 3 – 5 PM as the sign now indicates. It was delightful to be there again, and things are still alive even after all that snow.

I picked up trash, including dismantling the sidewalk fence which was barely standing. I trimmed dead daisies in the herb border, and moved some of our little fence pieces and secured them with the rubber mallet.

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I pruned a lot of the peach tree, but need a ladder and the right pruning saw- and some consultation with others – before trying to help out the last big unruly branches.

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The garlic survived the snow, as did our cover crops, and they are looking poised to take off. We likely need to start digging in the cover crops next week, and probably pulling up the radishes that are living in the pea bed, which has been decorated beautifully over the winter by some mysterious artistic benefactors.

We also have a small hillock of wood chips to use with our burly burlap bags to create weed-free spaces in the garden, so there is PLENTY of work to do. It wasn’t bad today once I got moving – still pretty darn chilly. I also took home the seeds to do an inventory so we know what we need to buy for planting soon – Peas are the first priority and luckily we have a whole bunch of seeds from last year!! So come on out next Monday, or Sunday March 10 (see the photo at the beginning of this post), and help us start our 10th year of gardening and community!

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SNOW DAY? First 2019 Work Party may be cancelled

Oh gosh, who would have thought? I guess in Seattle anything can happen, but it’s looking like we may be snowed out of our 2019 inaugural Big Project work party scheduled for Sunday February 10. If the weather reports come true it’s going to be pretty hard to do anything resembling gardening on Sunday, and maybe for the next week or so.  So watch the weather and as soon as the ground is clear we’ll be gardening on Mondays from 3-5 PM, and will have a Big Project work party scheduled again for MARCH 10!

Stay warm and safe! Here’s a memory from last year when we ended up gardening in a surprise hail/sleet/snow storm on February 28!

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2019 Gardening starts February 10!

In our relentless efforts to find the PERFECT time for gardening work parties, we’re trying something new in 2019.

Every Monday from 3-5 PM, starting February 11, you’ll find many of the core gardeners planting, weeding, and tending the garden in various ways. Please come join us on any Monday to learn more about growing local food and friendships, and, if you want to, you too can become a core gardener!

Second Sundays each month 12 noon – 2 PM in the early season starting on Feb 10, and continuing Mar 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, Aug 11, Sept 8, Oct 13, Nov 10 – we’re hoping for more turnout for doing big projects.  We’ll be posting information about what the project will be each month (like spreading chips or digging in Zoo Doo, or fixing our kiosk, etc.) Also, the time will change in the hot summer months so watch this blog for updated details. 

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More Bedtime for the Garden 11-18-18

So let’s see, we put a few more beds to bed with Zoo Doo and straw. We turned over one of our compost bins and got quite a bit of nice compost out of it to load into one of the horse troughs, and we’ll buy about 5 bags of garden soil to fill it up before we do the Zoo Doo Straw treatment on that bed. We also watered the compost bins, since they were really dry from the lack of rain lately. We cut down the asparagus fronds in the orchard area and covered them with a nice layer of that same yummy stuff, and we pulled out all the dead strawberry plants and spread Zoo Doo over a lot of the orchard area. That area needs some work to remove the dead plum tree and the sprouting remains of the old plum tree and we think it would be good to just keep it as an orchard  and plant new strawberries in one of the beds where they can get regular water. That seems like it would make the neighbors, especially the little ones, happy. It would also mean we could get to the orchard trees more easily and give them more TLC, which they really need. Looks like the peach tree could use some serious pruning this winter to make it more productive. No photos from yesterday, too busy working. Oh, and we all shared a few of the peas that are still producing, too!

Join us next week from 1-3 for what is likely the final work party of 2018!

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Getting the Garden to Bed – Nov 11, 2018

We got lots done in the garden today thanks to some old neighbors and new neighbors helping out. We spread a couple inches of Zoo Doo on Beds 2, 9, 10, 11 and 12, and covered them all up with a nice thick layer of straw, which will keep weeds out and nutrients in over the soggy winter. We’ll just be able to pull back the straw, mix the manure in a bit and PLANT when spring comes.  We also did a light mulch on the garlic and picked a few luscious snow peas to munch on, too! Not a lot more to do to get the garden ready for winter, but we still have two more work parties on Sunday Nov 18 and 25. We’ll plan to garden from 1 – 3 PM and the sign at the garden has been changed to reflect that. Come join us!

After that it will be a long winter’s sleep until February 2019!

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Heather, Henry and David spreading straw over the Zoo Doo

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Liz and Aleks spreading a thin layer of hay over the garlic

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Fall Gardening – November!

Still working to put things to bed or give them a head start on spring (like garlic and the cover crops we’ve planted). Plenty of Zoo Doo and hay mulch to make a cozy quilt of fertility, and some great burlap sacks to spread under new chips before winter. We’ll likely wind things up this month, so come on out the next few Sundays – Nov 11, 18 and 25 – and help protect the garden for the winter. And hey, pick up a squash (or half a squash) to serve for Thanksgiving. We still have 3 unclaimed ones in the shed (see photo below).

 

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MORE Fall Gardening

We had another productive day at the garden on the last day of September! There were only 3 of us, but we accomplished a lot:

  • We harvested our enormous winter squashes! There were 7 of them, and 5 are remaining in the shed (Debra and Susan each took one home). If you want one please go get it. As Ellen found out via the internet – the best strategy is to store it in a warm place for a couple weeks, and then it can be moved to a cool, dry location for storage (if you want to save it for a special occasion like Thanksgiving). A couple of them are GIANT, so talk to your fellow RCG gardeners about sharing!
  • We ATE PEAS from our fall crop of snow peas, and they’re fabulous!! Not sure how many more we’ll get, but there are tons of blossoms coming on.
  • We put the whole pile of compost material in the bins (without chopping), and will just be patient about it’s decomposition. There’s still room for the tomato foliage when those are done in a few weeks. We also leveled the area around the compost bins, so it looks great! Sorry, no camera was available, but go take a look!
  • We planted WHEAT! Marty had carefully saved and winnowed the wheat from our tiny crop this summer, and we planted most of the area behind the sitting wall, hoping the winter rains will give it a good start for spring. We’ll see what happens, but maybe we’ll have biscuits or bread with our tomatoes and squash next year!
  • We put up the pea supports just to have a safe place to store them over the winter, especially if it snows. They are in Bed 4 where the daikon radishes are taking off, as is the cover crop in Bed 3.
  • We harvested more tomatoes, but PLEASE go get green ones to do whatever you like with, and tell your friends. Not sure how much longer they’ll manage with all the rain that’s expected this week.

Looks like we’re just about done with the dry season, based on today’s steady precipitation. Hope it stops by next Sunday when we’ll garden again from 3-5 PM. Come join us!

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Fall Gardening

Well, the harvests have slowed way down as the fall weather sets in, but we are still busy in the garden. Our winter squash are still growing bigger and bigger, and may be ready to harvest soon, and there’s still yellow squash and arugula. We planted more arugula, and a few more wintering-over things that may work (bok choy, kohlrabi, and chard) in Bed 6, and garlic in most of Bed 5. We’ll see if the days stay warm enough for them to get a good start before frost. Oh, and our second crop of peas is flowering beautifully, so hope they come to fruition in Bed 1. We planted a mixed cover crop in Bed 3 (clover, Austrian peas, vetch, etc.) and a whole bed of daikon radishes that Debra mistook for a cover crop in Bed 4 (they’re already up!). We need garlic to plant in the rest of Bed 5, and in Bed 7 as well, so we’ll try to get that for next week.

We’ll probably need to take the tomato plants out pretty soon and plant cover crop in those beds, or maybe more hearty greens if we can find some good-sized starts. And we also have our volunteer wheat seeds to plant behind the wall once we get it cleaned out, so we can try our experimental “winter wheat” crop and start growing our own bread (joke!).

We’ll be there next Sunday from 3-5, so come on out!

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