Community Garden In Focus: The Plot

Since visiting my community garden for the first time two months ago, I have been amassing pictures and stories without posting them here. There is way too much to fit into one post, so I'm splitting it into two. This post is mostly about the plots themselves, in terms of layout and such. Tomorrow's post has more going on with it in terms of plants (strawberries!).

Here is the plot that was originally assigned to me. It came with rusted tomato cages and no discernable bed structure. I was told it would be tilled for me soon.

But a few minutes later, I was told "Whoops, we gave you the wrong plot, here's yours!" It's about 21 feet by 23 feet (outlined in red, although northern border is cut off.

Yeah. You heard me. At 483 square feet, it's larger than my apartment by about 150 square feet (although I'm not including the closets and bathroom in that... Even so, it's larger.).

I didn't like the utterly drab 10-foot by 10-foot squares, so I reworked the paths a little with my hoe. The strawberry patch (top right) remained a 10-foot by 10-foot square, but the southwest patch (top) became shorter and wider, the northeast patch (bottom) became taller, and the southeast patch (left) became really small. Instead of a straight-up checkerboard, I moved the north-south patch a foot or so further west, and I curved the east-west path, leaving a small patch that could fit a chair if I ever get one.

Next year, it'll be totally different. I just didn't like it so utterly square!

I have to mention here, because I never took better photos of them, that at the southwest plot (top in the photo), there are several Silver Rib swiss chard plants from the previous tenant. I made some nice stir-fries with them before they bolted in late April/early May. They will have to come out--they're in rows, and I disapprove of my garden being so ordered!

The northeast patch was the previous tenant's corn garden. Literally. It seemed as if only corn grew here. And when the plot was plowed, all that corn that the previous tenant hadn't harvested was turned into the soil. So, I have a 10-foot square of volunteer corn popping up. I don't know what variety it is, and I have others that I would rather grow. So despite them surviving several late frosts, out they come!

In the corn's place, here's some lemon verbena! I'm planting other things, of course, but Erin of The 6X8 Garden inspired me to try this plant.

I wasn't able to come to the garden for the first two weeks of May. That was a mistake! When I went, I had expected to do a lot of weeding, but I hadn't expected this. Most of this bed is volunteer corn from the previous tenant. And hell yeah I hoed it down with my scuffle hoe! I don't know what kind of corn it is, and I have my own corn I want to try. I did leave one or two stalks at the far north end, actually off the bed next to the compost bin. I think I accidentally hoed my lavender, however... I know I planted it here, but I couldn't find it after the massacre.

This is the southeast bed. It was mostly grass, too, but of the nonedible kind. Just to give you an idea of how crazy it gets without frequent visits! I'm still trying to figure out my schedule so that I can come in the morning before work to weed and water, and later harvest. Waking up on time (let alone early!) has always been an issue for me, however.

I didn't really remove all the scuffle-hoed weeds, although upon returning a few days later, most of them had actually died and the few that had rerooted were easy to rip out. After scuffling, I planted a few seedlings and a bunch of seeds (I wonder if the cotton will grow well?). You might be able to see my peanut seedlings and some corn in the back. I got a few chuckles from my northern neighbour and his wife when I was planting peanuts. I'm not sure why they thought it was chuckle-worthy--was it because it's stupid to grow here? I got some peanuts from the plant at Mr. Yogato last year. Besides, legumes--fix my nitrogen!

There's also some chard at the bottom, which had grown from seed I planted weeks ago, and the lemon verbena to the left. There are a few other things (Star of the Veld, for example), but they're nigh indistinguishable from the dead weeds in this picture.

Here's the southeast bed, all pretty and clean. I put in peppers, tomatoes, huckleberry, a few more herbs, and some seeds. The entire weeding/planting/sowing/watering process took four hours, after the four hours I had volunteered at the Youth Garden on the same day. I got a real nice burn, but it wasn't lobster red--it was more orange, because of my tan. Brown and red make horrid fake-tan colouring. At least mine was natural!

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2 Responses to Community Garden In Focus: The Plot

  1. Heck yah plant some peanuts! VA is known for them and we aren't too far away! That plot is HUGE! I would be entertaining in there, maybe a yurt too,LOL! How come nobody elses plot was growing anything? This is all really fantastic stuff, can't wait to see more!

  2. Nice blog. being a great lover of garden art, I enjoyed going through your blog.



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