The Demonstration Gardens are Looking Good!
Both the original Demonstration Garden and the new Annex are looking pretty darn good right now. In the original garden, even though we have two beds idle (problems with Symphylans, 1/4" long, white arthropods which think there is nothing as tasty as a fresh vegie root!), we are well ahead of production from last year. At the end of May last year, we had havested 257 pounds of produce. This year we are at 306 pounds, in spite of a not exactly helpful spring. A new first: we delivered squash with our produce - the first time we have done so in May. I might add that the new Annex provided one of the squashes, its first vegie donation!
We have hopes for a record delivery of produce this year, partly because the Annex now has five raised beds, totaling 375 square feet of growing area, planted with potatoes, onions, squash, tomatoes, and peppers. All five beds have irrigation installed and in operation. Eventuallly the Annex will have approximately 2000 square feet of raised beds for vegies.
The perennial beds at the Annex are also doing well. Although till small, there are several hundred plants in the ground. We look forward to their full establishment. One of the beds has been designated for annuals, and we hope each year a new Master Gardener Intern will take on the design of the next year's Color Circle. This year Denise Spellman has it well in hand.
Weeds are always a problem for gardeners, but are a special pain when well-established weeds have filled the ground with seeds, and perennial quackgrass extends from subterranean rhizomes. Time for Round-Up! NO, NO, NO! There are not any really good solutions. Digging at the roots is incredibly time consuming, and leaving behind a piece of a rhizome can restart the whole process. We are "demonstrating" the use of a flamer - a propane torch that lets us quickly burn the exposed tops of new weeds while standing up. The theory is that if we deprive the roots of nourishment from the plant tops, eventually they will die. (He wrote, hopefully)
Both gardens are preparing for the Share Your Garden Tour on June 23rd. We hope you'll come see what our efforts have accomplished in both our original garden and the new Annex. As always, we encourage you to come out an get your hands dirty! We will be working in the Annex this Saturday, June 9th, from 9am until noon.