Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rush to Plant

The crazy weather this month (with hot weather at the beginning of the month and cool weather at the end) has delayed the summer planting until this weekend at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden.    We’ve even got a wait list for plots based on the lovely Spring weather we have experienced spontaneous volunteers showing up to help.

Wednesday was a busy day. Susan’s friend, Mary, had dropped off a few boxes of seedlings she had started: bush pickle cucumbers, summer squash and giant sunflowers.  On Thursday, Strader’s Garden Centers donated scores of flats of lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli to GCGC.  So, I drove over and picked up some flats for the SACG.

Robert Seed from Keep Columbus Beautiful called to report that he had a Bexley High School senior who needed to complete his community service (before graduating) and was at the SACG.  I put them to work  keeping Columbus beautiful weeding along the alley until I arrived.   His father was there to help him (to do the work, not the hours).  While his father helped Mari amend the soil in her plot and to plant, the student mowed the grass in our lot and in the next door Block Watch lot.  (Like me, Frank  -- who usually mows that lot every week -- has been otherwise engaged with a hospitalized parent).  We then went to plant summer squash and cucumbers into the neighbor plot.  So, the SACG will look neat -- and beautiful --  for the Memorial Day weekend.  Of course, I invited them to return to help anytime the spirit moved them.

Stan came by to mow the grass, but since it was ably accomplished, he stayed to turn compost in our western bin.  While we were there, we chatted with the high school volunteer about his future plans and upcoming Gap year.  Laconic Stan then waxed eloquently about the virtues of being a union plumber.  I have to agree that there is a shortage of skilled tradespeople.

As I was leaving, Kinte pulled up to mow our grass and wasn't too disappointed to see that it had already been accomplished.

On Friday, John helped me transport my ladder to the SACG to re-check and clean out

the downspout drains which had clogged with the extraordinary amount of tree pollen we’ve received this year.   Pastor Brown gave me a hard time (joking, of course).  Fortunately, there was still water in the west gutter to drain into the tank when I cleared the strainer.  I also brought three gallons of water with me to test the downspouts and ensure that they were emptying into the tank.  While I was up on the ladder, I also checked the volume in the west tank (which was only about 100 gallons).  Because there clearly was not enough water to sustain us over the long weekend (which will probably be the busiest planting time of the year), Barb agreed that we could take water from the Block Watch tank (which Rain Brothers filled this week) until it rains again and puts water in our tank.  Frank and Barb had also built a new platform for the Block Watch tank to increase the water pressure.

While we were there, John had been on vacation and was able to check on his plot,

where his tomatoes and peas had sprouted.   Neal stopped by later in the day to set up his hardware and to plant most of his plot.

Sadly, Tony and Kaci still hadn’t touched their plots since joining the SACG and they were both weedy jungle oases in a Garden of well tended and weeded plots.

When I arrived on Saturday, Sabrina and Rayna had already been there for at least an hour.  Someone had also stuffed our Free Little Library and even left pictures around the base of it and the nearby cherry tree.  I had filled the truck of my rental car and part of the back seat with trays of seedlings and came prepared with a 15-point to-do list.   I put trellises in my plot, the food pantry plot and the neighbor plot and planted tomatoes in all of those plots, transplanted my overabundance of mint to points around my sprouted zucchini and squash, pulled the spearmint growing up in the cat mint, weeded the southern flower bed, pulled a few weeds out of the center flower bed (and watered some of the sunflower seedlings that are growing up under the abundant daisies), set up a trellis for my pole beans, watered everything in my plot, planted peppers in my plot and the food pantry plot, planted 1-1/2 flats of lettuce in the food pantry plots,  re-organized the shed, and pruned a volunteer tree. 

I also helped some neighbor girls weed their bed and plant tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and cucumbers.   (They watered it themselves).    Of course, they immediately deserted me when I mentioned there were ripe strawberries in our strawberry patch.  They picked them all, took them home to wash and eat them and then came back to finish working in their bed.

Before she left, Sabrina watered the food pantry plot.  She had completely filled her plot and was contemplating whether she could handle more real estate with a baby on the way.    We also discussed the benefits of lemon balm and mint in deterring mosquitoes (which are apparently abundant at her new apartment).  Rayna was busy using our compost to improve the soil in her plot.  Like me, she has a tray of home-sprouted peppers for her plot.

Stan came by, rolled up our extra fence/trellis, improved the soil in his plot and planted some tomatoes and lettuce.

Lots of people stopped by on their way to the Asian Festival at nearby Franklin Park Conservatory.   One church group took a tour of the Garden and gave me a bottle of water and brown papper lunch bag (which they were distributing throughout the neighborhood).  I finally left after 5 (after harvesting some dill and lettuce from my plot).  It was a long day and I never got around to planting my pole beans or planting peppers in the food pantry plot . . . . . . There’s always Wednesday.

Next Saturday, I’ll be planting my eggplant and basil, planting cosmos and zinnias, and starting work on our herb garden.    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the monsoon that is currently in Nebraska and Oklahoma finally makes it hear and fills our tanks (and our neighbor’s barrels).

No comments:

Post a Comment