Sunday, 19 May 2013

May tinkerings at Lakeshore Collegiate

Can you believe we're almost through May? Time flies when you're busy in the garden and there has been some major progress at Lakeshore Collegiate Garden.
These greens are almost ready for harvest!

Spring Cover Cropping 

The Garden Club at Lakeshore preps the soil for a spring cover crop
Last fall a section of the garden was destroyed in the process of removing the invasive species that buffered the garden. To rebuild this soil and out-compete weeds we've sown a cover crop called red clover. Clover is in the legume family and will take nitrogen from the air and fix it into little nodes in its roots. Once tilled in the nitrogen will be released into the soil, feeding the soil and the plants to follow. We've also scattered some daikon radishes seeds in the more compacted areas whose long tap roots will help break up the hard soil. In the late summer/early fall we'll sow a tall grass such as buckwheat or rye which will add a great amount of biomass to the soil once tilled under.  Next spring we'll have a new chunk of healthy soil to work with and increase production!

Digging, Weeding, Planting, Weeding some more

April and May has been a tough battle against the ever pervasive and invasive quack grass. We've pulled out about two yards of this garden foe and with diligent weeding and proper cover cropping we should have a much easier time next season.
Working in mushroom compost and building beds

Garden Club plants head lettuce
Continuously weeding!

 Building a Compost from Shipping Pallets

Garden Club is at it again! With the shipping pallets the school has saved for us and other found materials we've built an amazing compost bin! The school cafeteria is working with us and saving us their kitchen scraps!

Taking apart shipping pallets 

Hot Crops Plasticulture

The tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and basil are in the ground! The weather has been a bit uncertain this season so they've been tucked away under plastic to give them some extra protection against the cold and a head start in their growth. Plastic can increase daytime temperatures by 10° to 30°F and give added warmth at night when temperatures drop.

The plants are not the only things in need of pruning...

Melissa, a cosmology student at Lakeshore, gives me a cut as part of her final project. Thanks for the great cut!

Lots of work coming up and help is needed! If you'd like to volunteer at Lakeshore Collegiate Garden, contact Aga at

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