The Community Garden At the End of May

As I was pulling horsetail out of the blueberry patches this weekend (again), I noticed that the blueberry bushes had formed recognizable (not yet ripe) blueberries. So soon?! It’s only spring!

Believe it or not it’s almost June. Here’s a taste (visually) of how the garden is doing:

Snow peas and Sugar snap peas are thick and *nearly* ready to harvest
Butter lettuce – we’ve been harvesting it this week
Romaine lettuce – we’ll be harvesting this next week
Tomatoes have been planted
There are other tomato plants scattered throughout the garden, wherever we could fit them (see the romaine lettuce bed above)
Potato Progress
This bed of potatoes is lagging behind
They’re a different variety, however, so maybe that’s to be expected
Raspberries!
Strawberries!

Not pictured: asparagus and rhubarb are still going strong; the garlic is tall and looking good; chard, collards, and kale are producing nicely; and the onions are still growing slowly but surely .

We have plans to plant cucumbers and squash within the next week or so. We also have sweet potatoes slips that we’re attempting to plant for the first time. We’re supposed to wait for the soil temp to reach 60 degrees before planting them – not sure we’ll ever reach that.

It Was Too Good To Be True

Well. The horsetail is back again. The north blueberry patch – the one we spent several work parties weeding and covering with newspaper and bark chips – has horsetail again.

We hadn’t seen any horsetail the past few weekends, so I was optimistic that maybe – just maybe – all that weeding and mulching had done some good. But of course not. It’s back again.

Nate and I spent a couple of hours on Sunday weeding that blueberry patch. Hopefully we can stay on top of it this year. Persistence persistence persistence.


It was a beautiful day out, and, while we were weeding, four other members of the garden were there working in shifts to plant the zinnia hedge.

The zinnia hedge prior to planting

This space separates the garden from the sidewalk/street, and so its nice to have some flowers out there for everyone to admire. We get a lot of compliments on the zinnias. Several passersby today said they couldn’t wait until the flowers were up: something for us all to look forward to.

Zinnias: planted and watered in

The Community Garden is Looking Good!

As we continue to be under strict social distancing orders in the state of WA, Nate and I worked at the community garden on Saturday morning alone again. We continued weeding the blueberry patch – the half that is still thick with weeds. We didn’t make a ton of progress, so I don’t have cool before and after photos to show you.

Instead, I’ll show you some of the other things growing in the garden. The garden members have all been working in the garden at different times throughout the week to keep things going. I think we accomplished more this week than we normally would with our usual two-hour Sunday work party, perhaps because people are spending extra time in the garden these days to keep busy and take their minds off of the current global situation. Also, since we’re not able to socialize, we’re more focused on the task at hand.

The asparagus beds, weeded, mulched, and staked out.

The asparagus beds (photo above) are looking really good! At the beginning of the season, these beds were so overrun with weeds that we couldn’t tell what was bed and what was path. Some of the other members of the community garden spent a lot of time weeding them and then mulching them up with more soil and compost to get them to this state.

The asparagus are coming up!

And so are the horsetail (sigh). There was bit of a snafu with the horsetail in the asparagus bed this week…someone mistook horsetail for asparagus and asparagus for horsetail. They pulled out the asparagus and left the horsetail! Oops.

Note: this is horsetail (kinda looks like asparagus, I suppose)

Fortunately, the mistake was caught that same day, and the asparagus was replanted with extra mulch, so (fingers crossed) it wasn’t too badly damaged.

In the raised beds, the peas are looking good and the onions are slowly growing.

Peas
Onions

We’ve also planted lettuce, beets, and carrots (carrots not pictured).

Lettuce
Beets

The rhubarb is growing rapidly! Soon enough we’ll have rhubarb to harvest, and I can’t wait!

Work in the Blueberry Patch Continues: Newspaper and Wood Chips

Whew! I am tired. I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon after spending 4 hours this morning pulling out more horsetail from the blueberry patch at the community garden and then laying down a thick layer of newspaper and wood chips.

Here’s what the blueberry patch looked like when we left it last week:

After pulling out any horsetail that had sprung up since we were last there, we laid down newspaper — 4-6 sheets thick — and then a 4-5″ thick layer of wood chips.

Since the blueberry patch is enclosed in a wire mesh cage, we have to hand carry all the wood chips in using 5 gallon buckets. This is no easy feat. Nate filled two buckets at a time with wood chips from a pile sitting at the far end of the other blueberry patch, and carried them over to me. I weeded the blueberry patch as we went, and then laid down the newspaper and woodchips.

It took us four hours, and by the end, we were exhausted.

But here’s how it looks now:

We’re so proud!

This next photo is perhaps a better perspective.

Left side: Not weeded Right side: weeded, Newspapered, and wood chipped

This is where we ended – we only did about half of the bed. The blueberry bushes are mostly only planted that half (I’m not sure if that was intentional or not — I wasn’t part of the garden group when the blueberries were originally planted). In the other half, we’ve planted squash in years past, but last year it was just too overrun with weeds to do anything with it.

Our main goal this week was to mulch around the blueberry bushes. Mission accomplished! We are exhausted, but doing projects like this is my favorite way to spend a day.

Maybe next week we’ll try to tackle the weeds in the other end of the bed….