Summer 2020 Garden Update

If you have been following this blog for a while, then you know that our family helps run a community garden. I thought I would share some pictures with you from the garden. I think even the weather knew that 2020 wasn’t a normal year, so things are different than normal.

The flower bed on the west side of the pavilion.

In February, when we just realized that COVID-19 was going to be a significant event, we changed how we were going to garden. The first thing was that we were going to plant more vegetables than normal. We expanded the potato patch and added in over 40 tomato plants. We had a feeling that people would be hit financially and wanted an opportunity to provide food for people when summer came. Never in our wildest imagination could we have guessed that so many people would lose jobs or so many businesses would not survive (along with the staggering realization of over 100K deaths). We just knew that people in our community and people in our church would probably be needing food.

Here is the potato patch. We put in about 45lbs of seed potatoes. They are all dying back now to be harvested soon.
Here are the three rows of tomato plants. We are using a modified form of the Florida weave to hold them up.
Baby tomatoes set on the plants!

Also with people struggling emotionally this year, I thought that it would be good to convert nearly 150ft of our garden’s road front into wildflower meadow. There were seven of us who worked nearly 4 hours to tear out the grass and plant the wildflowers. These last three months we have been babying those seedlings and just now they are starting to bloom.

Part of the meadow in bloom and showing off its beauty.

It was because of all of that, it was heartbreaking on Wednesday to come to the garden to see that nearly half of the wildflower meadow had been sprayed with weedkiller and was dead. I am not sure if it was the city who sprayed it or if it was some well meaning person, but regardless of the motivation, three months worth of work was destroyed. What was meant to be a little bit of beauty in people’s lives was killed.

Looking east on 4th street you can see how the flowers were sprayed.

No, I didn’t have a sign saying it was a wildflower meadow. I had assumed that since we took such good care of all of the rest of our property (mowing and trimming) that when we let something grow taller, that it had to be something planted on purpose. I know what they say about assuming things, but I just didn’t think that anyone would be spraying the property. We really try to be as organic as possible and I have only ever sprayed when we first started and we were fighting poison ivy on the back fence.

Here is looking back west and you can see that only about 1/3 of this section of wildflowers are still alive.

After telling my parents about the meadow being killed on Wednesday, I went to see my them on Thursday. My mom, as always, had a bag of magazines for us. In that bag was a big thick stack of flower seeds rubber banded together. My mom and dad found all of the packets of flower seeds they had and gave them to me. They knew how much I loved those silly little flowers and gave me seeds to replace what was killed.

The newly replanted meadow with a sign.

So today, the boys and I went to the garden and put new compost over the ground that had been sprayed and planted new flower seeds. Then we tamped them into place and gave them a good long drink of water. I hope that in a month we will be having flowers blooming again. I did make signs now saying it was a wildflower meadow and to not spray.

The section of meadow that was not sprayed with weedkiller.

While we were there watering, I also took a few other pictures so you can see what all has progressed in the garden. It is not all bad news. Things are growing quite well and we have more volunteers working in the garden than ever before. All of those things make us very happy. It also looks like we will have lots of vegetables to give away to our community and to church members.

Flower bed on the east side of the pavilion.
Cannas that were donated are doing well on the south side of the pavilion.
The flower bed on the south side of the pavilion.
The day lilies by the sign are in bloom.
The raspberries are setting on and rip (right side) and the blackberries (left side) are starting to ripen.
If you see these little strange hills around the garden, they are watermelon and pumpkin hills. We were donated extra seeds. Our soil isn’t that great, so I put in little hills of compost for them to grow.
The carrots in the community beds (planted 2/14) are ready to be harvested. This is a big one.
The raised beds are all looking good.

Just a bit of housekeeping business: we will be harvesting potatoes and onions on June 27th at 8am. If you would like any potatoes, make sure to stop by sometime that morning to get some of them. This year isn’t a good year for potatoes, so we will not have the amount like we did last year.

2 thoughts on “Summer 2020 Garden Update

  1. So sad when spraying happens. I lost the entire center of my lavender field once when a pipeline right of way plane sprayed over my plants. Things happen. Hope your flowers return quickly.

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