Hello fellow gardeners,
Fall is officially here, and plants are slowing down at the Hastings North Community Garden. It's time to pull up our yellowed tomato vines and cover the soil with mulch for the winter.
Here are a few garden updates for October:
FIRST ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST
We're looking for your photos from the garden! Got a nice shot of your kale plants, blowing in the wind? Sunflowers? Lettuce? The salad you made with that lettuce? To enter the contest, please send your top pic (only one per gardener, please) to email@example.com before November 1st.
The winning photo will be featured on our website, and the winner will get their beds for free for the 2016 growing season.
Despite the chilly weather, there is still good food to harvest from the beds at the garden. Remember to pluck those last tomatoes, that last cucumber, before it's too late. We also want to avoid rotting vegetables in the beds; this tends to attract vermin of the pointy-nosed, pink-tailed variety.
In preparation for winter, we ask that everyone do their part in clearing all dead plant matter from the beds before November 1st. Green waste goes in the black compost bins. If one bin is full, please put your green waste in a bin that is not full. We will also have an extra green waste box set up by the blue Organics dumpster in the northwest corner of the garden for overflow.
PUTTING BEDS TO REST
The final stage in putting your beds to rest for the winter is to cover them with mulch. We will provide leaves for this purpose by the middle of October. We ask that you put leaves on your own bed, and do so before we shut off the water at the end of this month. You are welcome to plant a cover crop (like clover) instead of mulching, but even over-winter crops (like kale and garlic) benefit from a good couple inches of mulch. See Garden Tips for a run-down of the process.
To clear up any lingering confusion: your bed allocation WILL NOT CHANGE for 2016. The only action required of you to secure your place in the garden for the upcoming year is to sign off on the Gardener Agreement and pay your 2016 fee come April, 2016.
If you already know that you will not be returning to the garden next year, please let me know in an email.
GROWING TIPS: PREPARING YOUR BEDS FOR WINTER
The goal with winter preparation is to protect your plants, and, more importantly, your soil, from the damage of winter weather. In BC, months of continuous rain can erode and compress your soil, washing out valuable nutrients and turning it acidic. Good winter preparation will help keep your soil in condition, add several weeks of growth to your garden in the late fall and early spring, and suppress weeds.
Here are a few simple steps:
- Remove diseased plants or plant parts (like powdery mildew).
- Thin your winter sprouts out (like carrots, radishes, beets).
- Remove any plants that have stopped producing (such as corn, zucchini, tomatoes, beans).
- Add some organic matter (like compost or manure, which can be purchased from any garden or hardware store).
- Cover your beds (with a wholesome layer of leaves, which we'll be providing).
This info is a condensed version of a great post from the Abundant City blog. Check out the full version here (http://shiftinggrowth.us3.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=764a1db14c3c23e7a865a5214&id=683f0cd386&e=46b9d57ae1) .
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