The Garden Diary

A record of work in the garden for 2014
The winter rye seeds planted last year did not come up, so we will have to bring in mulch.  Clean up and weeding started at the Wake Up the Earth Festival, May 3rd.  Also I bought some vegetables seedlings at the Festival and put them in.

A record of work in the garden for 2013
I didn't keep good records this year, but we had three vegetable gardens going and four flower gardens as well.  There are still problems with the water supply, only one out of three outlets was working, so a lot of carrying of water had to be done.

Winter Rye was planted at the end of the previous year to provide a cover crop during the Winter and Spring.  Once it started to form seeds but before they had ripened, it was cut down and provided a natural mulch.  This resulted in a lot less weeds and a much easier year keeping with the gardens.
A record of work in the garden for 2012
The raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry plants planted last year are doing well this year, but it still may be another year before they bear fruit.  The lilies are growing well and will put on a good show as usual.  We've already planted a row of peas and built a colonial style twig fence (How to Build a Diamond-Patterned Twig Trellis), and build a stick teepee for runner beans (the donated runner bean plants grown from seed didn't travel well, and we may have to plant more seeds).  There are also some carrots and maybe lettuce coming up from seed.
When I came to look at the garden in April, someone had dumped a smal pile of compost on the garden, but when I looked under it there was a lovely writhing mass of red wrigglers, someone had left their worm bin.  I moved it to the far east side of the plot and have started putting garden waste on top of it, rather than taking it back home.  The worms will have to be moved in doors before winter as they won't survive the cold.
One issue is that there is a break in the water pipe further down the line, so DCR has to fix that and we don't have an estimate of when yet.  For the moment I'm carrying water in plastic bottles (i.e. large soda bottles or milk bottles) on the way too and from work.  This only has to be done for new plantings for a couple of days to help them get started and only if it doesn't rain.  If we get in to a long hot dry spell it may be more of an issue, though this year I have a hand truck so I can easily bring quite a lot of water to the site.
A record of work in the garden for 2011
Saturday October 8th
80 degree weather in October!  The garden is still producing, but because the tomatoes had become so untidy we took them out and placed three corn stalks in their place as decoration, I don't suppose they will last very long though.
Sunday September 18th
Harvested several eggplants and tomatoes for the JP New Economy Transition back yard party, the eggplants sliced, salted, dipped in olive oil and grilled were delicious!
Saturday August 13th
The garden has really filled out, all the rain and heat have helped, and it is becoming more obvious to people walking by that crops are growing there.  The corn has shot up and has ears beginning.  The tomatoes have topped out of the Florida Weave.  There is not enough space between some plants and then other plants haven't done much growing, so there are open spots.  This is all part of out learning process.
Deb and I did a little bit of weeding and watering today and continue to talk to people who walk by.
Tuesday July 26th
I haven't been keeping track of the work so well.  It has been usually watering every evening unless it has rained.  We did some weeding a week or so ago, and now it needs it again.  There are a couple of peppers that may be ripe on one plant.  The eggplant plants are getting big.  The tomato plants that are staked are growing like crazy and need another couple of turns on the Florida Weave.  They were probably planted too close together, but we were given so many it was hard to put them all in.  The ones at the East end which are not staked are not growing that much at all.  The plantings have been a little too haphazard, it was all a bit of a rush.  Next year we can plan better.  The two plots under the nearby tree have not done well, we will need to improve the soil in preparation for planting next Spring, and research appropriate plants.  THe two day lillies that I transplanted have mostly died back, I'm hoping they come back next year.
Thursday July 7th - 8pm to 9pm
Weeding and watering
Tuesday July 5th
Monday July 4th
Planting and watering of extra plants donated to ECO that they didn't have room for.  Eggplants, cauliflowers, peppers, pickling cucumbers.
Wednesday June 28th - Saturday July 3rd
Lost track, but must have watered every day it didn't rain, and I think there might have been more plants...
Tuesday June 28th - 7pm to 8pm
Watering and planting of the Arboretum plants (tomatoes, peppers and eggplants).  I dug up the three hanging pot tomato plants that we put in on Sunday and replaced them with these that were bigger and will grow more upright.  There were so many tomato plants that I gave two of them to two women sitting on the park benches (Our First Plant Share!!).  They seemed like they hadn't grown anything before, but I told them they could put them in a sunny kitchen or porch in a large pot with a stake.  I should know what to feed them, but don't without looking it up.  It would probably be good to have some care information to hand out with plants.  This sort of outreach and encouragement of home gardening is a large part of what we are about.
It rained that night, so the new plants got a lot of water.
Monday June 27th - 9pm to 9:20pm
Just watering, but with the four streetlights around the garden it did not matter that it was night, there was enough light that I could have weeded or planted.  I wonder what the light does for the plants?  Do they need a good night's sleep like us and this confuses them?
Sunday June 26th - 12pm to 5pm
The gardening day on Sunday at the Bikes Not Bombs Green Roots Festival went very well!  We had several plant donations which we planted along with some things I had bought, and we met some people who were very encouraging of what we were doing.
Before planting anything we moved some of the Day Lilies into line to create the bays for our plants.  I put two day lilies against the granite blocks next to the memorial tree near the basket ball court and planted some European Ginger and Violets next to them.  There is still more space for ornamental plants there.  The soil isn't very good, so it will take a bit of work, that we can plug away at if we have time.
Catherine and Lisa, my upstairs neighbors, donated three large blueberry bushes, and they also gave some tomatoes and pepper plants they had grown from seed, and Lisa, who works at the Arboretum, just told me that she has more plants from there that were being given away free.  I also have some more plants coming from Angela of the ECO garden
Rebeca and Dave from the Tres Gatos (nee Rythm & Muse) Book Club Group donated some corn seedlings.  Barbara, Dave's mother, helped with some of the planting (after having cycled for BnB).  She lives in Brookline and told us about a couple of similar gardening efforts going on there:
I had bought some strawberries and herb plants which we put in as well.  Sometime soon I'll document what is where.
I also talked with Sabine, one of my next door neighbors, they have plot in the community garden near by, so we are seeing if we can store the hose in their shed.  Though I'm thinking it would be easier to manage the hose if it was on a reel and if it has wheels it may be too big to fit in the shed along with everything else that is in there.  I'll have to look at options.
The garden looks like someone cares for it now.  I hadn't intended to grow tomatoes because of the problem of supporting them, but people always seem to have them to give away and I don't want to turn anyone away.  So there are three stakes in a line in the garden to try the Florida Weave method - - and Deb's new roommate is an artist who does silk screening so we may ask her about making a small cloth banner to go across the top of the stakes.
Saturday June 25th - 10am to 11am

Finished Weeding (yay!)

Friday June 24th - 7:00pm to 7:45pm

Weeding (no need to water)

Tuesday June 21st - 7:45pm to 8pm

Watering.  Only a few of the raspberries look like they will make it, which is a bit discouraging, except I know what is there will spread like anything.  The mulch not unexpectedly needs raking back into shape.

Found that the hose end sprayer was clogged,  I've cleaned it out so it should be better now.  Because the water outlet is sunk into the grass bits of leave and stuff get pushed through the hose and get trapped.  So it is best to leave the end off a flush it out briefly before attaching the sprayer.

The water coupler is difficult to connect and even more difficult to remove, but I'm beginning to get the knack of it.  It needs to be lined up straight and pushed in a little in order to turn it.

There was a small brass band practicing down in the amphitheatre this evening, very nice.

Monday June 20th - 5pm to 7:30pm

Weeding and watering.  Only a little more weeding needs to be done!

Sunday June 19th - 6:45pm to 7pm 


Saturday June 18th - 9am to 11am

Weeding and watering.

Thursday June 16th - 5:30pm to 7pm

Moved some day lillies, planted raspberries from Janet (they had been sitting in pots for two weeks so some may not make it).  The raspberries were mulched with salt marsh hay.  The idea is to use the different mulch to show were things are planted and perhaps to make interesting patterns.  This was supposed to be a spiral, but didn't quite make it.

While digging saw yellow larvae about half an inch long, they didn't like being disturbed.  I've no idea if they are beneficial or a pest.

Used the water coupler and hose for the first time. 

Wednesday June 15th - 6pm to 7pm

Weeding, more than one half done

Monday June 13th - 5:30pm to 7pm

Weeding, more than one third done

Saturday June 4th - 9am to 10am

Collected samples for soil test.