Gardeners from the Moreau Community Garden met Thursday for a garden seminar and hands-on planning and planting as part of the Family Gardening Program aimed at teaching parents and children how to grow food and flowers.
The Family Gardening Program is funded by the South Glens Falls Central School District which received a Carol M. White federal grant to promote fitness and nutritional programs over a three-year period. One of the programs is the Moreau Community Garden allocation of 15 plots to be used by families and their children.
The goal is to teach children and their families how to garden under the guidance of Garden coach Natalie Walsh, a master gardener and the writer of this blog. Each week, Natalie has been answering questions and coaching gardeners on organic methods of growing, disease and pest control.
For example, yesterday we discovered aphids on pepper plants. These appeared as small white specks on the underside of the leaves. This pest can usually be dislodged and discouraged with a strong spray of water. The proper way of fertilizing tomatoes, eggplants and peppers was demonstrated and proper watering techniques were taught. All of these things together are vital to healthy plants and an abundant harvest.
In addition, the group weeded and reviewed the techniques of square foot gardening, a method of gardening that is especially helpful to new gardeners and gardeners with disabilities as each square within the bed has a specific number of plants allocated to it depending on what vegetable or flower is planted. This helps gardeners with plant spacing, air circulation around plants, fertilizing and weeding.
In the beds, gardeners have planted tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, lettuces, endive, spinach, beans, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers as well as zinnias, sunflowers, cleome, and marigolds. These colorful flowers will attract beneficial insects. Summer plans include growing and then using vegetables in healthy, child-friendly recipes such as salsa, pizza toppings, refreshing drinks and a tomato taste testing in August when the tomato crop ripens.
There are still a few plots available. If you are interested click on Moreau Community Garden Application tab in the menu bar, print it and mail it to: Recreation Director, Moreau Town Hall, 61 Hudson Street, Moreau, NY. The program is free for residents and each Thursday in June at 4 p.m. there is a lecture and hands-on activity in the garden, which is behind the recreation building at the Moreau Recreational Park off Jan Avenue.
All Moreau Community Gardeners or any gardener from the community is welcome to come and listen to the garden lectures. Bring your questions.
We also invite you to follow our progress through my blog
“WhatsNatalieDoing.wordpress.com” where I will be chronicling the garden.
Natalie Walsh, Garden Coach