Saturday, March 30, 2013

March Brings Sunshine to the Ladner Community Garden


You sure can't beat this weather for the end of March. I don't recall having it quite so warm. It is definitely time to get our gardens growing. If you are unsure as to what to plant first ask someone in the garden or check out the handy chart from West Coast Seeds located in the front of the log book in the shed.
 Our water has been turned on by the parks department and we didn't even ask. Thanks Delta! They must have seen the huge pile of soil we ordered last week. Its been a  busy couple of weeks in the community garden. We have had 38 yards of soil brought in for the gardeners that ordered and paid for it. It sure looks like great soil but I noticed it has dried out on top quite quickly. It must be all this sunshine.

If you are planting seeds, be sure to water them after planting if the soil feels dry to the touch. Better yet, water the soil before planting to prevent washing the seeds away. Don't forget to label what you plant. You can save money by making labels out of recycled yogurt containers.

On Tuesday, April 2 we are having our first spring meeting at the Ladner Library. It will begin at 7pm in the side room and we will go over some plans for the garden and answer any garden questions you may have. Please try to attend the meeting so we can welcome all of you back and say hello to our new gardeners. Kids are welcome.
If you haven't got a membership card card yet, you will be able to get one on Tuesday.


We hope to have our first class begin soon. Would you like to learn how to build an herb spiral? We started the base of our herb spiral last year and it needs to be finished. This is a project that anyone can build in their  yard in no time. We will have a sign up sheet at the Tuesday meeting if you would like to participate. Once the herb spiral is complete, it can used by all. That way you won't need to have large plants like Sage and Oregano in your allotments at the expense of other vegetables.


Did you know we have a school garden? We have a grade three class come to the garden every two weeks from September to June during the growing season. They only come for an hour but you would be amazed at what 28 children can accomplish in that short time period. Would you like to help us with the class? It will be happening on April 8 and 22 and May 6.


May 6 is a big day for the class as we will be planting for our Mother's Day tea cup plant sale. We need lots of help this year. A good portion of the money raised from this sale goes to the local food bank. If you have any unused teacups or teapots that you would like to donate, we can sure use them. They don't have to have saucers or lids. The school would like to plant 500 tea cups! Yes, that's a lot compared to the 100 of last year.
That's it for today. Happy Easter to everyone!

Happy Gardening,
Kristin


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Work Party Reminder

Work Party Reminder!

Soil Shoveling Work Party: Saturday March 23

Big thanks to all those who made it out for last week's bed-raising and garden cleanup project.  Our second work party is this Saturday,10am-12pm.  


This week, we will be placing fresh soil into the Children's Beds.  Soil will also be available for all those who arranged to have their beds raised, and who paid for soil to fill them.  Please come out and lend a hand: we always appreciate your help

The shed is stocked with tools for the garden community to use.  Thanks for keeping it tidy!  
The shed is also stocked with the new volunteer hours log book, so be sure to record any hours you spend helping out with community projects at the garden. 
We hope to get our projects finished this spring so we can all put out feet up this summer and enjoy a community meal or two together. 


Lynn and her helpers are busy getting some of the allotments filled with soil today. Thanks Lynn for receiving the soil at such an early hour! We ordered ten inches of soil for those who paid for the soil this week. That should help fill your gardens. Remember this soil is only for those who paid us for it. If you want us to order some more soil, let us know as soon as possible so we can get it delivered next week.

Thank you, and we hope to see you on Saturday!

Friday, March 15, 2013

March Blooms at the Community Garden


 Spring is here and there is so much to do at the community garden. You can see the grass has really greened up and it won't be long before it needs to be cut. This weekend we will concentrate on building some new beds and getting things tidied up. There are stakes to put away, weeds to pull and plants to compost.


Even though its only March, plants are beginning to grow. The garlic that we planted last fall is up and the Kale is looking pretty.


 How can you resist Kale in a salad? Did you know that after Kale goes through a freeze the taste changes and it gets even better. There is no easier plant to grow than Kale.


 The Primula are blooming in the rock garden. They are such a welcome site.


The Iberis or candytuft is opening its white blooms. It must love the warmth tucked in by that rock as my Iberis at home is way behind and nowhere near flowering yet.


More garlic in the allotment beds. I am still using last years garlic in cooking. The best thing I made last year was the garlic scape pesto.


More colour is provided by red cabbage in one of the allotments.


This vibrant Primula just shouts spring.


Check out all the cilantro babies. I think this allotment gardener will be so surprised as it was her first garden last year. The Swiss chard is starting to send out new leaves as well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Its a Spring Work Party Weekend!


I know you just looked outside at the rain and thought really? A work party? Yes, this Saturday is our first work party of the year. We are building some of the allotments and the children's garden beds up in height for those of us who cannot bend over yet. Oh I don't know who that could be. Yes, its me. With my new hip I cant bend over at all for a few months which is really crimping my garden style.


Hopefully with the children's beds being a bit higher we can sit and plant with ease. The students are coming back to the garden for a class on April 8 so the beds have to get built.
You didn't hear me mention soil, did you? The soil isn't coming this weekend. It won't arrive until March 21 as we may need a rest after the building this weekend.
So mark your calendars, this Saturday, March 16 is our work party day from 10am -12pm.
We have the tools needed but just need a steady hand to help aligning the boards and moving the lumber where it has to go. This may be a good day to get some tidying up in your plots if time allows. I know I have Kale to move and a few weeds to pull.
Come prepared for mud as the ground is a bit damp but we hope it doesn't pour rain on Saturday.


If you haven't started planning your garden yet, now is the time to get started. You can plant peas and  broad beans anytime now. If you want to know how to grow peas, check out my blog here. Peas are best planted every two weeks so you have a succession of harvests.
If you ordered soil with the group, it will arrive on Thursday, March 21 and there is lots of soil. This soil is ONLY for those who paid in advance so please don't help yourself. Half the soil will be going into the children's garden since it has never been topped up since the community garden opened in 2011. So don't be overwhelmed at the enormous pile when you see it. For those who ordered new soil, you will be getting 1.23 yards of soil to add to your new raised bed. This year we ordered from West Creek Farms in Fort Langley. The soil has been recommended by the master gardeners along with soil from  Eco-soil and Transform. I have tried the soil from West Creek Farms in the past and it doesn't contain any green waste.
Did you want to learn more about gardening? The Corporation of Delta has their spring garden classes starting and they are free. Check out their link here to see what they offer. The first two classes are on organic vegetable gardening.


The students that come to the garden for classes are holding a plant sale in May. We are looking for donations of bone china tea cups. They don't need saucers but we will gladly take them if they do. We are also looking for old teapots that may be missing their lid. The photo above is from last years sale and they sold out in ten minutes. This year we are making four times the quantity we did last year. Phew, I am exhausted thinking about it. Last year the children donated $500 to the local food bank from the plant sale profits.
If you have any questions about your allotments or the work party, I would love to hear from you. Contact me at deltagardener at dccnet.com

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring is Almost Here!

Spring is just around the corner at the Ladner Community Garden. I hope everyone is ready for a busy spring. Just think, its only 12 days away!
I was at the garden today and its still a bit soggy but with more sun each day it will dry up quickly. There is lots to do and our first spring work party is on Saturday, March 16 from 10am-12pm. We are going to clean up the garden, do some weeding and add some height to some of the raised beds. So if you are handy with tools or can help out with weeding and general tidying, you are welcome to come and help. You know what they say, many hands make light work. If it rains we will postpone our work party to the Sunday, March 17 at the same time. On March 23, we will be ordering new soil for the children's garden and getting the beds filled and ready to plant. The grade three class from Southpointe Academy will return on April 8 for their first garden class. It may be good to leave a bit of soil to shovel to keep them busy. They love digging!


This is the kind of mess we don't want to see at the garden. I know we all love growing Sunflowers but those stems are a pain to cut down. What we need from our gardeners is if your debris is unsuitable for the compost, please take it home and leave it out for curb side pickup. If you don't have this service, there are many of us that wouldn't mind an extra bag of garden greens at the end of our driveways. We always have a few leaf bags in the shed for this purpose. I would say that if the stems on your plant are thicker than your thumb it shouldn't go into our garden compost bins. They need to be chopped up small in order to decompose quickly. Its always a good idea to bring your pruners to the garden for this purpose.


Spring is definitely around the corner. Blooms are out in the front rock garden and I found these wallflowers ready to open in the children's garden. The children grew these from seed. Won't they be surprised in April to see them blooming?


The seating area in the children's garden is looking bare. I can't wait to have the children come for a class once again. They have been asking to come for over a month. This year they are growing food for the food bank in their raised beds.
The water is not turned on at the garden yet but we don't need to water anything yet. The soil is moist enough for all your seeds. If you haven't planted yet, peas, broad beans, onion sets and lettuce can be sown now. Be sure to get seed potatoes in the next week as they have just arrived at West Coast Seeds and the garden centers have a good selection as well. You will be able to plant some early potatoes towards the end of the month.
We may have a couple of plots left in the garden so if you know someone who may be interested , email me at deltagardener at dccnet.com.
Our next general meeting will be held on April 2, 2013 from 7-9pm at the Ladner Pioneer Library. Lets get together and plan our community meals and talk gardening.