Huge thanks to the many folks who came out to help on Saturday March 3 to start the project of re-building the garden beds to keep out the poplar roots, spread new chips, and finish the new wall in front of the orchard. We got really a lot done, despite the challenges we found with taking the garden beds apart, and the fact that the bamboo barrier didn’t arrive in time. And the weather was FABULOUS – what difference a week makes!!
We’ll be doing a bit more work on Monday evening, March 5, since the barrier is scheduled to arrive that day, and we’ll also be working at our usual time EVERY SUNDAY from 3-5 PM, so come join us to help finish this big project and start our spring planting!
Indeed, we have certainly gardened in all kinds of conditions – rain and shine and cold and hot – but today was one for the record books. It HAILED for nearly an hour! We kept thinking it would blow over quickly, as hailstorms often do, but no, it just kept going, so we did too!! Thanks to Dao, Larry, Susan, Ellen, Debra and Laurie for planting a new plum tree, weeding the pea bed, digging a whole new area for raspberries, planting new blueberry bushes in the culvert we put in last week, straightening out the other culvert entrances, and just generally spiffing up the garden.
Enjoy the photos of our hardy garden and hardy gardeners, and let’s hope the weather is more friendly next SATURDAY – March 3 from 9 AM to whenever we’re done- for our special work party to poplar-proof our garden beds and continue making the garden a wonderful place for our community!
Time: March 3, 2018 from 9am to 3pm
Location: Ravenna Community Garden at NE 68th and 21st NE
Many hands make light work! Come join in a little community effort to install root barrier in some of our garden beds, build a low retaining wall, and do general clean up in the garden. Come for any amount of time that works for you.
Tasks for people of all ages and abilities.
Food and beverages will be on hand.
This is a perfect project for students needing community service hours.
Anyone interested in helping plan for the 2018 growing season is invited to come to the RCG meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month from January through June in 2018. Meetings are held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center from 7 – 8:30 PM on the following dates:
January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14, and June 11
Hope to see you there to help decide what to plant in 2018 and what other improvements to prioritize!
This gallery contains 6 photos.
In 2017 we have Work Parties EVERY Sunday late afternoon, moving the time on hot days. Trying to keep it simple so it’s easy to remember, but also trying to work in the cooler part of the summer months. HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US!!
April to August Sundays (April 2 to Aug 27) 3 – 5 PM unless it is HOT (if it’s over 75 degrees then we’ll meet between 6:30 and 8:30 PM)
**NEWS UPDATE: To accommodate summer weekend fun escapes, we’ll also have a Weekday Work Party every Monday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Gardeners are welcome to come either Sunday or Monday, or both, during the summer months.
September to November Sundays (Sept 3 – Nov 19) 3 – 5 PM
Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day always fall on Sundays, but we’ll garden with whoever wants to join us on those Sundays as well.
Hey, just a reminder that even though you may not see a blog post every week, there are gardeners working every Sunday, currently 3-5 PM, until it gets really hot (hard to imagine right now). We’ve planted lots of things, and are preparing to plant in our new straw bale arrangement (trying to outsmart the poplar roots with this technique), so come by and see what’s new and JOIN US on Sundays if you can!
On March 19 we did a bunch of stuff, but I’m probably not remembering all of it. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we actually had to take off a few layers of clothing when we turned in the red clover cover crop in a couple of the beds (2 and 3) to prep them for future planting. We also planted spinach in Bed 7 – where the wintered-over brassicas are – and put goat manure in several more beds. We weeded a lot in the herb border to make room for the chives and other delicate herbs, and transplanted some teeny parsley starts in some of the wide open spaces. Not remembering much else, but it was a lovely and productive day.
Today, March 26, was raining most of the time, but we still got some things accomplished. We finished moving the last of the FertilMulch into the bed above the wall, pruned some rosemary to make room for the rhubarb by the strawberry bed, planted some Kale in one of the new horse troughs, and planted a few more peas in spaces that they hadn’t come up yet. The peas are looking pretty good, though, so one of these days we’ll need to beef up the supports before they get too tall. We also talked a bit more about the challenges of raising the beds out of the pathway of the thirsty poplar roots, and Laurie showed us the plastic material that seemed like a possibility for solid bottoms. We talked about the idea of trying to find some students at the UW who might want to take on this agro-engineering challenge, but weren’t sure where to start with that. Any ideas would be welcomed. After everyone else had left, Laurie and I were poking around looking at the drainage holes in the two remaining horse troughs, and decided to rake some of the dirt away from them, and lo and behold, we found, not 1, not 2, but 3 drain holes that were being invaded by poplar roots. We cut them away with the handy pruning saw, and it will take a while for them to rot out and free up the drain holes again, but at least we caught them and could “cut them off at the pass” so to speak. Seems like we may even need to raise the horse troughs to keep the roots away. A couple of illustrative photos below show how the root was coming from underneath, and curved up into the drain hole on the side. A continuing challenge…
Well, gardeners, yesterday we proved that the poplar roots will find ANY OPENING into our garden beds. Remember back when we put in the new horse trough beds we mistakenly drilled a little hole in the bottom of the first one, then realized that we should drill the drain holes in the sides, so the roots couldn’t get in. Well, guess what?
It all started when we decided to pull up the stunted arugula, and started seeing pretty big roots ALL THROUGH THE BED, that we didn’t think were probably arugula roots. So, we decided to investigate, and started digging. Down, down and down we dug, as the roots started getting larger and larger, and VOILA, it went all the way to the very bottom. There, coming right through that teeny little hole we drilled (see the tip of Nalini’s finger showing the hole in the 6th photo) was a poplar root coming right from the ground. The root coming through was tiny, but at soon as it got into the trough it created a huge web of rootlets and got way bigger, sucking up the precious water in our arugula bed.
So, that was our day at the garden. We emptied the whole bed of soil, and covered it up, waiting for a drier day to sift it so we can use it again. We put the trough back behind the water barrels and covered that up, too. We were greatly relieved to see that the roots hadn’t managed to get through any other part of the trough, and the other two troughs don’t have any poplar roots in them, so that was the good news!
So now the question is, how can we plug that teeny hole so we can use the trough? Or should we put it up on blocks and see if the roots reach up through the air to get in?