June 2020

Summer is finally here! It is time to make a “ Summer Garden Checklist ”. No matter what is on your list make sure that “ Grow what you love and listen to the birds” are somewhere on your list. Enjoy your summer garden plot by basking in the warmth of the sun first thing in the morning or later in the evening.

Tip of the Month:

Play in the dirt: It seems not too long ago you planted your healthy seedlings. Some made it and some didn’t. Now it is time to stand back and watch the beauty of the summer sun as it hits your growing plants. Most of us are now on a constant watchful eye on the amount of moisture in our soil. However, don’t be too heavy handed on the water hose,
before you press that button, check the soil itself. Feel if the soil is actually wet about 1-2 inches below the surface. If your soil is hard as clay, mix it with moisture retentive soil amendments to invigorate your soil’s ability to receive moisture and nutrition. In short, play in the dirt to nurture your soil and your soul. Everyone can use extra minerals and vitamins in our bodies. As you play in the dirt, listen closely to the bird songs, the sound of the train passing by, the people around you or feel the stillness of the garden.

Garden Maintenance:

It is summer, it is getting hot out in the community garden plots. The beautiful tomatoes and peppers are bursting with flowers and fruits. The
strawberries are ripening or already been eaten. The zucchini and squash just won’t stop producing and growing bigger each day. All these beautiful plants are now fighting for the same sun and soil nutrients. Maintain these beautiful growths by removing excess leaves that are overgrown, dry, dead or overlapping with other plants. Defoliating helps with pest control and fruit pollinations. Tomatoes and cucumbers can use some desuckering (remove excess growth in between the fruits and the main stem). This method helps the fruits ripen faster and produce bigger
healthier fruits. Hopefully, you are “growing what you love” and “listening to bird songs”. Do enjoy your bounty as quickly as possible to sustain your body with the most nutrient dense food you can possibly eat. If you have a summer plan away from your garden plots, do not forget to put a
“On Vacation, Please Water” sign. If you are unable to harvest prior to your vacation, notify someone to harvest for you and consider donating all your produce to the Food Bank. If you need help harvesting your Food Bank plots, the community gardeners are here to lend you a hand. Just simply ask.

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