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Can you water the garden this week?

28 Jul

The rain is ending and the garden’s watering schedule has too many openings! Please help if you can… Opportunities exist over the next week, including Monday 7/30 and Tuesday, 7/31.

Sign up here.  Find more detailed instructions on  New + Improved Watering Schedule  or Garden Watering Guidelines .

Many thanks!

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The Summer Watering Schedule Is Live!

24 Jun

Sign up to water the garden, please!

It’s easy, relaxing, and kid-friendly.

The online schedule has been updated and you can sign up now : Choose as many days as you can; the schedule gives some instructions; generally, just know that it’s better to water early or later in the day (not mid-day), just because more water will soak in.

It’s a great way to help out, and an easy commitment . . . and we have some open slots this week, so if you’re around, please help!

Thanks.

A Solid Garden Workday!

18 Mar

Thanks to everyone who came out to help prep the garden!  It was nice to see so many CVers come out despite the chilly weather.  About 16 souls braved the cold and helped to:

  1. Amend some soil, turn under the cover crops, and till and blend soil in three raised beds.
  2. Plant sugar snap peas, snow peas, and shelling peas along with hardy greens.
  3. Broke in the brand new kid-sized watering cans (which match the orange metal ones)
  4. Prep new planters for sunflowers.
  5. Prune herbs as well as some perennial pollinator-friendly plants.
  6. Marvel at the (potential) pupa/ chrysalis discovered on the milkweed.

Why start planting so early in the season?  Nature is preparing for spring renewal despite the low temps.  Read below a newsletter from Edible Schoolyard NYC’s Mirem for more context on early spring gardening.

Mirem’s Weekly Garden Tips: Mar 17

Hello fellow school gardeners,
Four weeks to last frost! Hard to believe given the weather, but in fact
this Tuesday (the 20th) is the March equinox . Longer days cue
growth for many temperate plants, regardless of temperature: you’ll notice
early-spring bulbs like crocuses, Siberian iris and snowdrops in bloom, and
daffodils making leaves like crazy in preparation for blooming next month.
Leaf buds are forming on trees and shrubs. Raspberries and roses are
starting to make actual leaves.

This is your last chance to prune woody herbs, shrubs and trees before the
all-out explosion of spring growth. Once the sap rises and leaves unfurl,
branches are more vulnerable and will have a harder time healing properly
from pruning cuts. I’ve attached a good article on pruning for further
reading. No time for reading? Head out to the garden and *do the bare
essentials of pruning:*

-Cut back any obviously dead branches (grey color, dry, no green visible
in the cross section)
-Remove any branches or stems that pose a hazard, for example eye-level
branches across a path
-Remove or cut back any branches that are in the way for any reason
-Remove branches that cross or rub against others (just keep the one you
prefer)
-Cut back very vigorous cane fruit and shrubs to keep them under control
-Trim back bare or leggy stems of thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage,
marjoram, mint, etc.
-Use regular pruning shears for small branches and stems. For bigger
branches, use loppers if you have them – the larger sizes can handle
diameters up to an inch and a half (at Edible Schoolyard NYC, we call them
“Cyndi Loppers”). When you make a cut on a branch that is any bigger than
an inch and a half, use a pruning saw. Make a shallow cut on the underside
of the branch, then cut through from the top – that prevents the bark from
stripping off when the branch breaks off. Don’t cut flush to the trunk,
leave the joint attached to the trunk to speed healing.
 
*What to do with the trimmings and prunings?*  New York City picks up neatly bundled woody material as long as you follow Department of Sanitation guidelines

  • Save long, straight branches for staking perennials;
  • Chop up small branches and use to mulch established trees, making sure
    the pieces are less than 6″ long and are in contact with the soil, so they
    can be broken down by fungi;
  • Add chopped trimmings and prunings to your compost, if you have room;
  • Use for firewood, after a thorough, slow drying;
  • Finally, there is an interesting but not particularly urban-friendly
    technique called hugelkultur  that  uses woody material as the bottom layer of a planting mound or hill. Let me  know if you try this 🙂

Sat July 9th: Crazy Growth Report!

9 Jul

I hadn’t been outside in a few days, so today I was amazed by how fast things are growing: Almost all of the tomatoes need staking/pruning/ support.

There’s also sprawl from the ground cherries that I tried to reign in…The cucumbers are ready to climb so I pulled down some of the snap peas… I suppose I will snip off the scapes this weekend and plan a garlic harvest.  Who wants some?

 

Have you watered lately?  Its hot and those tomato plants are thirsty, click here to volunteer to water on a specific day.  See you outside!!!  -Denise

 

 

Planting Sunday 4.17 at 1:30pm

16 Apr

We’re going to plant seed potatoes, lettuces and other edibles Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm. All are welcome, but the specific planting agenda is still TBD.
Many who attended our sub-irrigated planter workshop have asked about the timeframe for transplanting. It’s too early to do most of the plants and flowers just yet…But we’re working on scheduling some future planting dates in early May. If you have questions about your actual plant send a photo or email to cvearthlab@gmail.com. If you are concerned because you are going away for spring break and need a plant caregiver, post a comment. There are likely other gardeners in your building who may be able to host your planter. Thanks!

Sprout Spotted!

29 Feb

santiamTomatoSprout

Look at my little Santiam tomato sprout! Hooray!

Anyone else seeing anything? In fairness, I am using grow lights, so my seedlings have an advantage… –Denise

Related: Home Care for Planters

 

Home Care for Sub-Irrigated/ Self-Watering Planters

25 Feb

IMG_3034Thanks to all who came to the workshop last night. I am sharing some tips we use at Benji’s school for PTA plantings…But this is one philosophy or approach, not the only one. Ansley and other gardeners may have different takes on how to proceed — keep your eye on the comments section!

1. (At home) Remove and fill the bottom reservoir cup with about 2-3 inches of water. For one time only, water plant from the top to allow soil and wick to settle. Wick should dangle into liquid to allow soil to “suck up” the water and “self water” the plant.

2. Place in full sun or sunny windowsill.  aclk

3. Add water to bottom cup every 2-3 days. It is OK to spritz soil from the top, but “watering” should be done via the reservoir in the bottom of the planter.

4.  If you need to add soil, use organic potting soil.

5. Depending what you planted, be ready to transplant a little early, because, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, Spring may come early.  The 2016 prediction for NYC’s last frost is April 1st. (Last Spring Frost prediction tagged as having 50% probability).

Gallery

Scenes from CV Mulchfest 2016

9 Jan

Related:  And the Winner Is…; Mulch For Better Soil & Safety Surfacing

Video: Mulching In Action; Video of Mulch Dump ; Extended Mulching Clip

And the Winner Is….

9 Jan

Peter Duffy, dad to Nora, who guessed the closest number to the actual tree count.

Congratulations Peter!  A total of 60 trees were mulched onsite today as part of CV MulchFest. Peter guessed we’d get 70 trees, so he is the lucky winner of a large jar of local honey from the farmer’s market.  Thanks to all who participated in the contest and in the tree drive!

Two large wood chip piles are behind 195 Adams, next to the play area fence, between the substation and the entrance to the play area. Parents and others interested in using the mulch for safety surfacing: Please help move the mulch into the play area. There are two shovels and a rake on top of the raised bed near the garden shed.  If a few people grab a shovel and sling some over the fence today, we can spread it out later. Too much is never enough, don’t hesitate to move the remaining mulch. Thanks! -Denise

Click here for more photos & video.

mulching Jan 9 2015

mulching Jan 9 2015

Exciting News @ Your Tree (Mulch!)

30 Dec

Updated January 3, 2018  The BOD and the office have arranged to have a mulching machine on site to chomp up and recycle our Christmas trees on Sat Jan 6th!  This is great aspen_001-1news for our soil —and our children’s safety. Mulch is the primary safety surfacing for play area playground and protects against potentially fatal head injury from falls. (See US Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines here). As you may know, mulch is a valuable and sustainable resource for ground cover, as it protects soil, helps the ground absorb water, helps reduce local runoff and soil erosion at the same time it insulates the roots of plants and suppresses weeds without the use of toxic pesticides.

Bring trees to the compactor room in your building. Parents and gardeners, please lend a hand moving mulch from the truck to the play area around 11am. 

Finally, please spread the word. Onsite mulching is only cost effective when used on a high volume of trees. The more CV residents who contribute to this campaign, the better the use of resources and, IMO, the better chance we’ll be able to repeat this experiment. Plus, it will SMELL GREAT! Thank you!  –Denise, mom to Benji, and the Core Garden Group

Related:  Child Safety Surfacing, What It Means to Be A 245-4Garden Member

 

 

 

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