Joining the Fairmount Community Garden crew

About a week ago, I was told that I could have a garden plot at the Fairmount Community Garden, which is about 7 to 10 minutes away from our apartment by bike. I’d gotten on the waiting list weeks prior.

Today, I finally got to pick out my plot and get started.

Tina & Matt's plot at the community garden

It was overgrown with grass and had some remnants of previously grown plants to pull out. The grass is by far the worst of it. It seems like there is quite a bit of organic matter that hasn’t fully broken down. This makes me concerned for the nitrogen, which could get tied up breaking down that material.

In the long run, that’s fantastic. In the meantime, I might need to amend it with some blood meal and use fish emulsion more often. I plan to bring some things out there and do a soil test tomorrow or the next day.

Once I do the soil test, I’ll be able to see what it needs exactly. In any case, I’ll probably want to add a bit of mature compost to it and some Garden Tone.

I’ll probably give it a few days after adding organic fertilizers and compost before I plant some things. I think I can go ahead and safely put in onions (for harvesting this year) and seeds that I want to start (carrots and turnips). The only concern I have is with the heat, but I plan to succession plant every two weeks for about a month in order to maximize my harvest. So, if the early stuff doesn’t do so well, at least I won’t be out of luck for the year.

I’ll also see what kind of transplants I can find at the local garden center. I’ve heard a lot about Marshall Grain and plan to start looking there. I have some broccoli and cauliflower sprouting in compostable cups in my windowsill, but I don’t know how well they’ll do. I might as well hedge my bets if I can by planting both my seedlings and ones I purchase.

After I get everything going, I’m going to cover it with corn gluten meal, which will suppress seeds from sprouting. This will be helpful with reducing the grass that pops up in my new bed. It will also add nitrogen, which I think is something the bed needs. Over the top of all that will go some mulch, which is provided for me by the community garden.

I’m so excited to get started. The plot is located where it can get some shade in the afternoon when the sun is at it’s hottest. I’m hoping it will be a productive fall crop for us.

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