Garden Essentials: Garden Waste

Gardening tasks create waste. When you maintain your garden, you find yourself with organic debris like: 

  • The weeds you pull out of your garden
  • Trimmings from pruning your plants 
  • Dead plants or plants past their prime that you pull out

We are not talking about leftover fertilizers or other garden chemicals. Those will have specific instructions on the labels for how to dispose of safely. 

We are also not talking about...

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Garden Essentials: Access to Water

This week's topic is a little more applicable to gardens that are not close to your house or building. Your garden is located somewhere else: you rent a plot at a community garden or your plot is located far from the house. 

All gardens are going to need to water during the growing season. Rainwater is best, but it is not delivered reliably. You can have periods of drought and it can wipe out your vegetable garden. Your...

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Urban Homesteading - Community Gardens

Ah, yes, my favorite topic! Community gardens...

Community gardens are a terrific way to grow your own food when you live in an urban or suburban environment. This is exactly the reason they exist!

If you have the opportunity to lease a community garden plot, I think this is the best choice for growing your own vegetables and herbs when you don't have suitable land of your own. 

Definition of a Community Garden

A community...

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Join a Community Garden Next Year

If you aren't a community garden gardener yet and you want to be, it's time to start doing some research. 

This is the time because many community gardens start leasing out their open plots at the beginning of the year. It's good to be ready ahead of time!

You need to:

  • Find the community gardens in your area. 
  • Check out their websites or contact the garden manager to find out the requirements for membership.
  • If you meet those...
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Tomato Suckers

Not talking about candy! 

(I call them lollipops, incidentally.)

Although, now that I think about it... might be kinda good! 

But I digress.

Suckers are small shoots that emerge from a main tomato vine. With practice, you can learn to recognize them easily. 

Lots of plants have growths called "suckers." You might recognize the term used for shrubs or small trees, like lilacs, fruit trees, etc. Cucumbers have them...

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Community Garden Calendar - Get Ready to Sign Up!

Till and Trowel is about the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in your community garden. In most of the United States, right now (December) is the "off season," meaning it's too cold to garden outside. 

Typically community gardens operate on a calendar. They open in the springtime and close again in the fall. 

To be ready for their spring opening, they accept applications for membership a few months before...

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Wild Successes in My 2020 Garden

Yes, I've encouraged gardeners to celebrate their successes, so here are some my best gardening wins this year.

Success #1: Cucumbers!

I grew 8 cucumber vines this season, and holy cow they did terrific! They grew quickly and robustly in the late spring/early summer. By July I was picking cucumbers like crazy. 

All those cucumbers made me realize two things:

  1. 8 plants produce way too much for two people...
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Reservoirs for Better Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes can be a bit tricky to grow. They require lots of nutrients (i.e. fertilizer) and lots of water, but not too much, and not all at once. The temperature at night has to be "just so" or they'll drop their flowers. They need lots of sun, except when it's too much sun and your tomatoes gets scalded! 

Rather particular, aren't they?

I love tomatoes so much that I'll deal with their quirks. 

While we can't...

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Best Crops for Beginners in the Community Garden

I think it's weird to call them "crops." I mean, I only have a few of each plant. A "crop" seems like it should be miles and miles of planted farmland. 

I haven't found a better word though. Crops it is. 

A crop is the collection of a specific kind of plant, no matter if you have 1 or 100 plants. Example: in my garden I'll plant 64 carrots, 32 lettuce, 16 Swiss chard plants. That's 3 crops: carrots, lettuce, and Swiss...

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