I promised an update on the Impact Community Garden and here it is (finally). We had a sweet potato digging party there this week, and I took the opportunity to bring my camera and get a few photos of the garden. For those of you not familiar with this project, it is a community garden we started in 2011 on the property of Impact Ministries in downtown Evansville, IN. I serve as gardening guru, assisting a wonderful group of folks who either don’t have the space or the gardening knowledge to garden on their own. They all share in the work and the output of the garden, and we all have a lot of fun as we learn to garden together!
The overall yield of the sweet potatoes this year was less than last year, but the potatoes themselves were nice sized. This pretty well mirrors how they did here in our home garden.
The fall plantings have done well. The rains finally came in time to help things grow for the fall season. We planted one row each of kale, collard greens, turnips, cabbage and broccoli back in August. Other than the broccoli, all of these are doing great. Some of the top heavy tomato cages keep falling over on the row of broccoli, smothering the plants. We removed a few of the toppling tomato plants, and hopefully there is still enough growing season to make some broccoli. We also learned not to plant anything in between rows of caged tomatoes, at least not in fall. It worked fine this spring when the tomatoes were better behaved!
The turnips sized up nicely. We have Purple Top and the white Hakurei varieties planted. These are growing where potatoes were planted in spring. We do our best to maximize the garden space with succession planting.
We planted two rows of Asian greens and lettuce last month. These faster growing plants really took off. There should be greens and lettuce to cut in about a week or two. All of the fall plantings were mulched with a combination of leaves, grass clippings, shredded paper and newspaper. It all serves to keep down weeds, conserve moisture, and add organic material to the soil when it is worked in.
We made a conscious effort to do more mulching this year, and it has worked out well. With the cost of straw going up each year (it was $6 a bale this year), it pays to find alternative FREE mulch materials like leaves, grass clipping and paper. We also plan to use cardboard on the pathways to keep down the weeds next year.
Another project we need to work on is a compost bin. I need to pick up some wooden pallets so we can make some compost bins like my Brown Gold Yugo here at HA. I am hoping I can find some free pallets so we can get the bins built before cold weather really sets in. Right now we are piling up the garden waste, which is inefficient as well as unsightly. Our pallet composter here might not be fancy, but it gets the job done AND it looks better than the piles of stuff we have now.
I hope you have enjoyed this update of the Impact Community Garden. Until the next time, Happy Growing from Happy Acres to all you gardeners out there!