2016 at the Hastings North Garden

Hello fellow gardeners,

It's a new year at the Hastings North Community Garden. Spring is just around the corner––albeit a very grey, rainy corner––and that means it's time to turn our attention to the business of gardening.

Here are a few very important updates and notices for the upcoming growing season:

EARLY REGISTRATION

Returning gardeners are encouraged to complete their Gardener Registration and pay their Garden Fee for 2016. The fee for the upcoming year is $15 per bed.

We have streamlined the sign-up and payment process with a new Garden App. Click here to REGISTER AND PAY FOR YOUR HASTINGS NORTH GARDEN MEMBERSHIP 2016 (http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=cd029020ff&e=46b9d57ae1) . (http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=81e3ea2fe0&e=46b9d57ae1)

**As always, returning gardeners will hold onto the same beds they gardened in 2015. If you are unsure what beds belong to you, have a look at the most recent garden bed allocation list at the bottom of this email.

LEAVING THE GARDEN?

There is a lot of interest in growing space at the Hastings garden, and the wait list is only getting longer! If you will not be returning to the garden for 2016, please let me know so that I can pass along your beds to a new gardener.

GARDEN OPENING 2016

The garden is open year-round, but our official Garden Opening event will take place on the first or second weekend of April. This event is a fun one and not to be missed. We'll have a fresh delivery of compost for you to mix into your beds for added soil nutrition, as well as art supplies for beautifying your bed placards.

Similar to last year, we will have a local partner with us selling seeds and starts, and answering questions about what to grow when.

**The Garden Opening also serves as the final deadline for Garden Registration and Payment.

If we haven't received your online form and payment by this time, your beds will be offered to a new gardener. If you wish to pay your Gardener Fees with cash or cheque, the Opening is a great time to deliver this method of payment!

GARDEN TIPS: PLANNING YOUR BEDS

One of the funnest parts of gardening is deciding what to plant, where to plant it, and when to put your seeds in the soil.

Here are some basic considerations when planning your beds:

1) Choose your seeds: what kinds of vegetables, leafy greens and herbs are you most excited about eating?

2) Group your seeds into 'families'. Crop rotation can get really complicated, but its basis is a principle that's easy to incorporate into your plans. In simple terms, it's wise to not plant the same type of plant (kale, for instance) in the same place in your garden, season after season. This leeches nutrients from the soil and leaves you susceptible to diseases.

3) Check out the handy West Coast Seeds chart (http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=8c99276cb2&e=46b9d57ae1) to determine when your favourite veggies and herbs should be planted.

4) Plan for a consistent harvest: in one bed, for instance, you might plant spinach and corn salad (cold-hardy plants) in March, harvest in late May, and then plant squash and tomatoes for June (warmer weather plants).

5) Map it out! Below is an example of how you can organize your plantings on paper. Have some fun with it, but remember––you can plan until the cows come home and it still won't turn out perfect in reality!

For a more detailed approach to planning your garden, check out this amazing article (http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=01b0a5d027&e=46b9d57ae1) in Abundant City.

As everyone knows, our beautiful community garden is not permanent. We're lucky enough to count on another season at this site, but it's never a guarantee. Let's make the best of this incredible opportunity while we have it!

Adrick

Garden Manager garden@shiftinggrowth.com shiftinggrowth.com

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