What’s the Buzz?

Why it’s the bees of course.

Take a look at the bees and butterflies enjoying our pollinator plants.  Next year, we will create four pollinator beds filled with plants the bees, butterflies and birds find appealing.

If you want to be part of the buzz, let me know. We will need help planning, purchasing and planting seeds and transplants that have been donated.  If you have plants that are suitable for this endeavor, let me know.

We have two holding beds in the gardens with perennials that will be planted for the pollinators next Spring. But, we could use liatris, butterfly weed and echinacea to name a few.  Can you help?

 

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Vegetables Donated to Franklin Community Center’s Food Pantry

kaleIn total, 5 grocery bags of beautiful greens and fresh vegetables from the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens were delivered to the Franklin Community Center food pantry this morning.

In the bags were several heads of lettuce, bunches of Swiss Chard and Kale leaves, a few tomatoes, some wonderfully fragrant basil, yellow banana peppers, and several pounds of zucchini and summer squash. Julie Slovic,  FCC’s Food Program Administrator, was pleased to accept the fresh vegetables.

This was the Community Gardens second delivery to FCC.  These vegetables are grown in plots designated for this purpose in the community gardens and tended by gardeners as part of an initiative to provide healthy fresh vegetables to those in need.

 

Work on the Community Gardens Shed Progressing

Work on the community gardens shed is coming along and many hands have helped.

Rich T. restored the windows. He and Chris framed and installed the windows and door. George W. put in an entry set to secure the door from blowing with the wind. Volunteers from the Navy primed the interior and siding. Chris C. advised on what paint to use. Today, Tom G. put plywood in the former windows on the east wall. And tomorrow, I paint.

The color is white so the interior will be bright. If anyone wants to help, I will be there around 9 a.m. and hope to get one coat done Sunday and another Monday morning.

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. – A.A. Milne

Once the paint dries, we can begin to organize the tools by hanging them on the east wall and tracing an outline around each tool onto the wall. That way we will all know what belongs where and if something was left in the gardens. You know, a place for everything and everything in its place.

While the east wall will be dedicated for tools, the west side will have a potting bench, storage and a library. We are still looking for a small cabinet with doors that we can use for books, a seed exchange area, a magnifying glass, etc.  If you have one that is 4 feet tall or less to donate, let us know. Small is good as space is limited. We will put it to good use.

Pigeon Update: As of yesterday, one pigeon baby had flown the coop but not the other. I’m hoping the young bird leaves soon so we can finish priming and move forward.  We are letting the birds rule the roost until they fledge. But truly, I hope they are close to leaving. Pigeons might be where the expression “dirty bird” came from as in meaning something that soils its own nest. Yuck.

What Does Our Scarecrow Need?

Screen Shot 2017-07-22 at 4.34.03 PM.pngWhat would make this scarecrow better?

A hat? hair? gloves? boots? a belt?

Right now, he looks like he needs a little something.

Your suggestions are welcome.  We will work on him again next Saturday – July 29th – at 9 a.m. And then, set him in the new sunflower area.

And, I will have the frame for another child-size scarecrow ready to dress and stuff. If you want to add something – clothing, a hat, a necklace – to this scarecrow, bring it along.

We look forward to seeing you in the garden.

 

Is It Too Late to Plant from Seed?

 

greenbeanNot at all.

What can you plant now and in August?

The answer is quite a bit. Here goes:

Beans

Bush beans are easiest as they don’t require staking. Try planting seeds of a different variety each week and do a taste test to determine what you like best. Stop sowing beans seeds in early August.

carrotsCarrots

If you plant now, you will harvest a fall crop.

Cucumbers
Again, I would select a bush cucumber plant because space tends to be at a premium in a raised bed. If you have the room, go for a vining cucumber. Chefs tell me they are tastier.
lettuce

Lettuce

In mid- August sow lettuce seeds for a fall crop. I have plenty of lettuce seeds available in the community garden shed. Look for the days to harvest to determine what lettuce seeds are best to grow.

Kale 

From mid-July through mid-August plant seeds of kale for harvest in the fall.

Spinach

Spinach likes it cool. Start from seed in mid to late August.

 

Peas

The harvest will be modest for August planting green peas and sugar peas. But, if you have the room, go for it. Did you know Thomas Jefferson use to compete with his farm neighbors to see who could harvest the earliest peas? The winner hosted a dinner serving (what else?) some peas.

Radish

This is a quick growing vegetable. They are ready to be harvested in a month.

Anyone have some good radish recipes?

 

Garden Tips

One of the observations our gardeners have made is how quickly our community garden soil dries out.

One solution to this is to mulch. You’ll notice some gardeners have placed straw or pine needles* around the base of the plants.

This is a worthy idea for a few reasons.

It will keep moisture down around the roots, weeds will have a harder time growing, and during rain storms the soil will not splash up onto the leaves which makes for healthier plants.

When you do water, water well to promote good strong root systems that go deep. This will help your plants be healthier and healthy plants are able to fend off troubles.

You can also plant flowers – like marigolds – around the base and carrots love to be planted near tomatoes. Beans are a worthy crop, too.

If you have other questions, let me know.

• Pine needles used around our plants as mulch will not impact the pH. The acidic level of dried pine straw (needles) is very, very low.

 

 

Today in the Community Gardens