Monday, 28 August 2017

Garden Journal August 17th to August 27th

August 27

Notes

  • Hot and sunny with a strong wind. The weather has, overall, been cooler this week
  • Squash on hugel mound needs pruning - again!
  • Some squash leaves turning yellow and brown. Some can be explained by breakage, but others seem to have their stems intact
  • The squirrels are eating some of the tomatoes
  • The rust(?) on the beans is worse on the affected plants, but seemingly not spreading to other plants
  • Found a few squash leaves with powdery mildew
Harvest
  • 200 g beans
  • 100 g tomatoes
  • 100 g kale
  • 50 g parsley
  • 200 g chard
Tasks
  • Cut and bag discoloured squash leaves
  • Water
  • Tie up flopping tomatoes
  • Chop & drop weeds
  • Separate sage seeds from husks (they'd been drying in a bin for weeks)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY
We held our Garden@Kimbourne General Assembly under the maple trees and discussed our successes and challenges for 2017, and brainstormed some solutions to the latter. Here is a brief summary:

Successes
  • New volunteers, particularly some from new demographics (e.g. high schoolers)
  • The creation of a student summer job
  • Increased workshop attendance
  • New infrastructure, particularly the irrigation system
  • 100 in 1 Day 
  • Healthy plants
Experiments
  • Corn! Only two grew in the end, but one is actually producing an ear
  • Neem oil has, so far, been a good treatment for aphids and powdery mildew. The next few weeks will be the big tests on the latter point.
  • Crop rotation - we tried planting squash in a new place to avoid depleting the hugel mound of the same nutrients each year and to avoid encouraging diseases that target squash to develop there. But the squash in the new place got stem rot and the one that self-seeded on the hugel mound is thriving. So go figure.
  • Friday Garden Together times. Attendance is sporadic, but it has allowed some new people to get involved.
  • Trellises - we planned to buy strong, permanent materials but had to re-budget and made trellises out of whatever we could lay our hands on. They have been successful, though they won't last as long.
Challenges
  • Low Garden Together attendance
  • Ongoing need for more outreach
  • Low harvest due to weather
  • We've lost our compost expert
  • Reduced leadership team
  • We've reached the end of our term with our main funder
Solutions
  • Create more non-committee roles that people can sign up for and commit to
    • Prioritize the building of the community message board as soon as new funds are secured so that a physical sign-up sheet can facilitate this
    • In particular, we need Garden Together captains who can promise to come for specific Garden Together days, open the shed, welcome new people, and make sure everything is cleaned up at the end
  • Recruit a project manager to organize regular building projects throughout the season. 
    • Consider making one Garden Together day a week dedicated to projects, though gardening can still happen at the same time
  • Budget more money for transplants in the spring since growing from seed outdoors puts you at the mercy of weather
  • Use more shelters like raised beds and row cover to ensure spring germination
  • Recruit more people to grow transplants at home
A windy day required some creativity with the chart paper


August 25

Tasks
  • Water garden well
Harvest
  • 200 g tomatoes
  • 50 g beans
  • 50 g lettuce
August 22

Notes
  • 20 degrees and windy
  • Squash is huge and rampant, though almost no female blossoms
  • Aphids on corn, but not on the ear (which looks really healthy)
  • Sunflower in full bloom
  • Parsley seeds starting to develop
  • Found a 2nd watermelon bigger than a softball
  • Watered where needed
  • Pruned squash, tomatoes, strawberries
  • Gave trees a deep watering
August 20
Tasks
  • Water garden
  • Chop & drop weeds

Harvest
  • 100 g tomatoes
  • 200 g swiss chard
  • 200 g beans

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