Meeting Notes: End of Season

12 Nov

Please find notes from the core committee’s end of season meeting held October 18th, 2020. The memo pasted below was submitted to Helen Pearlstein and other board members on October 25, 2020.

Hi Helen,

Attached please find notes from the most recent meeting of the core garden committee members along with an overview of this past season.

Spring/Summer/Fall 2020

We had a strange but fruitful season.  Flowers grew well, while we had some fungal-related tomato and basil blights, most of the vegetables that we planted were successful.  (Due to pandemic restrictions, we started late and worked only in small groups – and upheld social distanced spacing)  About 10 families took turns doing twice-daily waterings and rodent activity checks.  See highlights: AprilMay, June, JulyAugust


Because we were unable to hold any fundraisers this year, we may send out an appeal for donations. Most of our funds are spent, (balance is under $800.) and we will need to buy soil, compost, plant starts, among other basics, before the spring. Annual expenses typically are @ $1000.

We will dry herbs and flowers but doubt we will be able to hold a sachet-making workshop in early December this year.

Winterizing the Garden:  We can’t hold one big workday as we usually do, so we’re planning a few smaller sessions, including Saturday,November 1, 10:30am – 1:30pm; Saturday, November 7,  9am- 12noon; Saturday, November 7, 1pm – 4pm and Sunday, November 8, 10am to 1:30pm

We plan to have the garden completely closed and winterized by mid-November.

Looking Ahead

Next potential activity would be a seed-starting workshop in February/March 2021.

Garden Meeting for Core Committee Members

              Sunday Oct 18th 930am- 11am in play area patio

              Attendance: Shari Rueckl, Sandy Palley-Brandt, Judith Shea, Wendy Fu, Denise Maher

Spring/Summer 2020 Review: What worked, what didn’t, why?

  • Flowers did well, especially marigolds and the giant coleus near the hose. (Can we put tomatoes there next year? Maybe one plant, it is shallow) Also great: Bee balm, red salvia, lantana.
  • Basil blight in late Aug/early Sept was caused by downy mildew in late August.  Spread fast with wind; generally, things were lush due to covid closing, lot of stuff close together.
  • Early tomato blight in June/July. Also, fungal and widespread. We sprayed leaves with neem oil and copper fungicide.  It was humid and wet – and we had more volunteer waters/ less watering consistency so leaves may have been wet too much. Irrigation from below is best to prevent) Probably need to rotate crops so tomatoes have different soil…. (maybe choose other varieties resistant to it, prioritize airflow?)
  • DM and WF put down diatomaceous earth multiple times in June/ July to counter spider mites, slugs, other destructive insects.
  • Cucumber, lot of leaf damage from storms, not a lot of cukes.
  • Ground cherries never really took off.
  • Birds really attacked snap peas on trellis. (Made selves comfortable when play area was closed). There’s an aggressive squirrel.
  • Strawberry tower did much better this year with hand and hose watering.
  • Rodents were well controlled this year but that is likely due to coronavirus closings, limited use and limited food consumption/waste in the play area.  Sprayed cedar chips daily, but put down cedar oil only a few times a week.
  • Garden and play area rules, display better? Secondhand: A family had a dog inside play area Saturday 10/17, Edward confirms that he had to confront them to remove dog. Saw some damage to plants/fence near side that is partially due to fence climbing by kids.
  • Re irrigation: Shari wants to ask Chris Shea to look at irrigation hoses, water isn’t reaching cucumbers and other beds.

Budget 2020

  • Including petty cash and CV account, we have @ $800. Reimbursement requests still must be submitted for @$150. worth of purchases. Need to buy Neem oil and other organic insecticides/ fungicides in concentrate to save money. We’re low on funds, not being able to have either Spring or Fall Harvest fundraiser hurt. Plus no more free compost, which saves substantial costs. Will need to buy compost, soil, wholesale plant starts, what else?  Typical annual fees closer to $1000.
  • Should we ask for donations?  Got some but not everyone paid dues…Can publicize the culinary herb beds and request financial donations… Tell people when we will close up the herb communal boxes and suggest they harvest some now if they want to dry herbs.  Can sell a few coleus plants as houseplants.
  • With covid, probably can’t do sachets – or a sachet-making workshop – as a fundraiser. But we can dry some mountain mint and other good spelling herbs and dry them.  We have lots of sachet bags.
  • Need soil tests in 2021

End of Season Tasks

  • DM bought seed garlic and some cover crops (buckwheat and clover).  This year we might use row cover instead of tarps to allow for more garlic and cover crop growth/soil rehab.  Where should we put garlic?  Can go anywhere but takes up that real estate until July. TB discussed.
  • Will we amend soil?  Don’t have free compost this year.(Will Gowanus Conservancy do giveaway this year?)
  • Honeysuckle needs new trellis
  • Closing / put to garden to bed proposed days – DM will do doodle.  Election Day?  Some have it off.  Should we meet again before then?

Inventory and Seeds

  • Inventory seeds to see what we have and what we need.  May need a lot…
  • We weren’t able to get things like organic cucumber seeds until late, and they didn’t do well.  Order seeds early as there’s demand with people at home.
  • Sandy may bring strawberry plants if they are successful in her Cape Cod house. (also, might be able transplant runners that took root from beds?)
  • Harvest sunflowers in dog run bed.  So much light there.

Parking lot/Issues to explore in future meetings

  • Pruning trees
  • Fruit trees (fig? male and female persimmons so existing one can bear fruit?)
  • Street trees
  • Is best place for garden committee under grounds or children’s committee?  Seems like it is housed with grounds, landscaping, security

2 Responses to “Meeting Notes: End of Season”


  1. Garden News, November 2020 | Concord Village EarthLab - November 13, 2020

    […] where you’ll find information about membership, details on where the money goes, recent meeting notes, and garden […]

  2. Houseplant Sale News From the Garden Committee | Concord Village EarthLab - December 3, 2020

    […] where you’ll find information about membership, details on where the money goes, recent meeting notes, and garden […]

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