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Workday & Weeds

September 23, 2017
Dear Garden Community,
 
We will have our monthly work session at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.  We will be following up on some of the excellent discussion at our 9/18 meeting by creating a test area to see whether raking back existing gravel, putting long-lasting weed barrier cloth down, and restoring gravel coverage would be a feasible approach to the weed problem.
 
A reminder--gardeners who are contributing to the weed problem by not keeping weeds out of their beds and surrounding 18" border WILL NOT be allowed to have beds next year.  We WILL be taking notice on 9/30.  The committee does not enjoy acting as garden police or continually weeding areas that others should be doing.  Cooperating with the rules all gardeners agreed to will go a long way to keeping the garden healthy and neighbors happy.
 
Thanks,
Brenda
WCGC chair

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WCG Committee Meeting

September 12, 2017

Please join us for dinner (we're providing the food) and discussion.  The agenda is below and attached.
 

Agenda

Winterville Community Garden Committee

Monday, September 18, 2017

Depot

6:00 p.m. Committee members will meet to set up, approve minutes from two previous meetings, and hear the Treasurer’s report

6:30          Community-wide meeting begins.  Sandwich fixings, chips, and beverages will be provided.

This year’s accomplishments

  • Pollinator garden
  • Tool shed
  • Soil and water testing

Results of survey

Call for new garden committee members for three-year terms to begin January 2018

Price of boxes for next year

  • Should we charge more to cover paying workers to weed?
  • Provisions for low-income renters

Standards for upkeep

  • Use of herbicides (Roundup is not organic) and pesticides (neither is Sevin dust) that comply with garden objectives
  • Areas between beds should be weed free; however, if others have to cut back weeds, any garden plants that have grown into the path will be also be cut back
  • How to deal with grass
  • Noncompliance with standards means others can pull weeds or bug-infested plants from boxes, and box cannot be renewed for next year

Looking forward

  • Possibility of getting sturdier trellises for climbing plants and tomatoes
  • Possible field trip to Ecofarms

 

Questions and Answers

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Easy Weeding

September 1, 2017

Good Morning, WCG Gardeners -

 
Went up to the gardens this morning - and just to say that this is a great time to pull weeds.  They pop right out of the ground - from the garden boxes and the gravel!!  Though maybe let the next band of rain go through first!?
 
Have a great weekend!
Averil

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Work Party

July 22, 2017
Hi garden community,
 
As usual, we'll have a work party and breakfast potluck on the last Saturday of the month.  We'll start around 8 this time, due to the heat; but of course, early birds can start sooner.  There's always plenty of food, so don't feel like you have to bring anything but yourself!
 
This morning Linda ran a weed eater around the interior and exterior perimeters, and Laurie and I used two organic herbicides around the interior perimeter and main paths. Next Saturday we'll work on deadheading and weeding the pollinator garden and the usual common area maintenance.  
 
Remember the agreement you signed when you joined the community garden?  It says that maintaining your bed(s) and an 18" border of surrounding space are part of remaining in good standing in the community garden; folks who don't abide by the agreement will not be able to get a box next year.  If you're having health or other issues, contact the committee about getting help.
 
Please put a public meeting on Monday, September 18 on your calendar.  We'll meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Winterville Community Center and we'll provide the food!  We want to get everyone's feedback on changes to the committee bylaws and the future of the garden (priorities and planning).

There was a lovely light cool breeze this morning, so don't let thoughts of heat keep you in next Saturday; come on out and have fun!  
 
Thanks,
Brenda

2017 committee chair

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Rain and Plant Diseases

July 20, 2017

Good Morning, WCG Gardeners  -  Here is a post by Becky Griffin, of UGA.  It might explain some of the sad vegetable plants, especially tomatoes, at the gardens - and it gives advice for future reference.

 
Averil
 
 

The increase in rain this summer seems to have brought on an increase in vegetable diseases.  Sharon Dowdy, a news editor for UGA, recently spoke with UGA Extension pathology specialist Elizabeth Little about the problems gardeners are seeing.  Sharon writes…

Home gardeners must fight insects and diseases to keep their vegetable plants healthy and productive. Diseases are harder to identify because, unlike bugs, you can’t easily see a pathogen, says University of Georgia Cooperative Extension specialist Elizabeth Little.

“Insects can be seen on plants, but diseases are a little mysterious,” said Little, a plant pathologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “You can’t just look at the plant and know what’s going on.”

Georgia’s hot, muggy summers provide the perfect conditions for diseases to thrive in, she said.

The secret to fighting diseases in homegrown vegetables is to stay a few steps ahead of them, according to Little.

This tomato plant is in trouble. Most likely a disease is to blame.

“If you wait until after you see the disease, it’s too late,” she said. “It’s all about prevention because diseases can increase very rapidly once they start.”

To fight diseases in the home garden, Little offers home gardeners these prevention tips.

  • Plant in an open, sunny location with good drainage and plenty of air circulation.
  • Choose disease-resistant and/or Southern-adapted varieties, if available.
  • Start with healthy seeds and transplants.
  • Plant summer crops, such as tomatoes and cucurbits, as early as possible.
  • Rotate different crops within the garden each year if possible.
  • Give plants plenty of space for good air movement. Trellis tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Limit the frequency of overhead irrigation to keep foliage dry.
  • Use drip irrigation if possible.
  • To help keep plants healthy, improve soil conditions with organic matter.
  • Adjust pH and soil fertility based on a soil test.
  • Remove old crop debris at the end of the season.

Following these practices will help home gardeners avoid most disease problems. If persistent problems occur, contact your local UGA Extension office for a correct diagnosis of the problem and a recommendation on how to treat it.

Thank you Sharon, for sharing this great advice!  

Happy Gardening!

The post Thinking Ahead to Combat Disease in the Garden appeared first on Center for Urban Agriculture.

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Weeding

July 20, 2017

Good Morning, WCG Gardeners! 

I have just come back from the Community Garden and I want to share this with you. 

We have a paid team of guys up there ……..  weeding!!  They are doing a fantastic job, and I have photos to share with you.  One of the photos shows how much they have accomplished, and what the pathways should look like – doesn’t it look great?  And the other is the “this is wrong” picture.  And you will all have seen the new Pollinator Garden and know how well that has grown – almost like magic! – But not – that represents a lot of work on the part of half a dozen of the gardeners.

So here’s the thing:  the pathways need to be kept free of weeds.  The more we tackle this the easier it will become.  Picking out small weeds before they go to seed will greatly reduce the number of weeds next time around, and the lighter the weeding becomes.  In the WCG agreement you signed, you agreed to “make a good faith effort to maintain my garden bed in a weed free condition.  This includes the surrounding 18” border around the box.  I understand that rental agreements for abandoned or unmaintained garden beds in a state of neglect may be revoked unless previous arrangements are made with the Garden Committee”.   We don’t want to lose any of our gardeners, but ……….

We know it has poured …and poured….and poured with rain.  That makes the weeds easier to pull.   We are asking you to please do your share – that’s all.  Some of us do a lot more than that, and will continue to do so.  No-one is officially “in charge’ of the main paths, for example, or around the outside of the fences.  But we do it.

There is an alternative.  The annual dues are relatively low.  Some Community Gardens charge considerably more than we do.  We could increase the fees to cover weeding crew charges.   This would allow those of us who put in all those hours of weeding to do more beautifying e.g. expanding the pollinator garden.  Come to the general meeting on Monday, September 18, and let us know what you think – or email us!   We need everyone to pull their weight!!

Thank you for doing your part to keep our gardens beautiful!

Averil (WCG Committee Communications)

Brenda (WCG Committee Chair)

Enjoy your gardening!

Brenda Keen (Chair, WCG Committee)

Averil (Rentals/Communications)

From this....

ugly weeds

to this!

 

Reminders from the WCG Rules and Guidelines:

  • Please keep the 18” border around your garden box free of weeds.  Some of you have done a really great job already, and the rest of us will have done it soon, I’m sure.
  • Please do not bring your pets into the garden area.

Watering:

It is perfectly OK to attach a garden hose to one of our spigots when you want to do extra watering, but please do not leave the hose attached.  When a closed hose is left in the sun, the water inside it will eventually heat up enough to burst the hose – and then the water will continue to run.  Not only is this wasteful but it will encourage a rapid growth of weeds in the gravel – which none of us wants!   So just a reminder!  Thanks.

Averil

(for the WCG Committee)

Tools:   You will have realized that we have tools for your use at the gardens, and we will soon have them organized in a tidier fashion.  We are going to add some tarps for your use, too.   The reason for these is so that, when you are weeding your plots or surrounds, the weeds can be dropped straight onto the tarp without being scattered onto the gravel.  This way any weed seeds are contained, and this will help us minimize future weed growth. 

Contacts:

Email address:  wintervillecommunitygarden@gmail.com

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/wintervillecommunitygarden/

If you have questions for a committee member, please email us at the above address.  And follow our Facebook page for current information and events at the gardens.

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