There was a lot happening in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens this morning.
Faye Mihuta read books to about a dozen children as part of the Sunflower Hour held each Saturday in the gardens.
Then Jess Clauser helped those who wanted to plant flowers in the Children’s Flower Garden as well as in peat cups they could take home. It was wonderful to see children participating in all aspects of gardening and exploring the plots.
And not everyone participated in the program. The sandbox, play farm and a toy excavator saw a lot of use much to everyone’s delight. Great photo opportunity for grandmother.
We had the great pleasure of having Chris Cameron, an organic gardener and supporter of PMCG, in the gardens this morning to talk about the benefits of compost tea and how to make tea at home.
Chris explained how using compost tea improves the soil by promoting healthy bacteria and other microorganisms that nurture strong, robust plants.
Thank you Chris. Your enthusiasm is inspiring and your lecture was informative.
If you want a copy of Chris’ handout, it will be available in the gardener’s shed.
And if you see Chris on the farm, feel free to ask him questions about compost tea. He has been brewing for years and can show you the positive results in the plants he has been treating in the community gardens.
I’m so glad Chris is part of the team!
After Chris, my lecture for our Gardening class was about what to do to minimize damage done by the cucumber beetles, squash bugs, cabbage loopers and the cutworms we found in the gardens this week.
About 10 participants learned how to identify the insects, the different ways to apply diatomaceous earth as a control and all had access to the organic remedies to use. They also learned how to find squash beetle eggs on the underside of leaves and how to remove them.
Finally, we talked about fertilizing. It is now time to fertilize with an organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion. Check your bottle, for my gardens I use 1 ounce in a two-gallon watering can and apply it to the soil every week for robust vegetables.
My bottle has an NPK of 2-4-1. If the brand you have as a higher concentration of nutrients, you can treat it every other week. Watch your plants and how they respond. They will “talk” to you with a rich, green color, strong stems and vigorous fruiting.
Our next class is next Saturday. All are welcome.
Like today, we will walk through the garden and discuss what is happening and what we can do to keep the garden strong and robust.
I will also be working in the gardens on Thursdays from 8 to 11. You can come and see me then about chores to do or any garden concern.
Thanks for making this place great.
See you in the gardens, Natalie Walsh