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SQLSTATE[23000]: Integrity constraint violation: 1062 Duplicate entry '0' for key 'PRIMARY' 2017 Garden Welcome and Plot Map - Connect

2017 Garden Welcome and Plot Map

Hi Fellow Gardeners,

I’m so happy to have each of you in the garden with us this year. 🙂 Jon Ramsay in Communications designed a great garden map for us, which you will see below, indicating where each person is participating. The Garden Team (Gene Mattox, Emmanuel Jatau, Lindsey Runyan, and Mike Terry) is working hard to get things ready for a new year. You probably have a lot of questions, and I will do my best to answer a lot of them below. If you see something that is not covered here, feel free to reply, and I will send a follow-up email answering those.

Where do I begin?

  1. Remove any unwanted plants.

  2. Gently, with a shovel or pitchfork, lift out any plants you want to keep and set them aside in a pot temporarily (you can find all kinds of plastic pots in the garden shed).

  3. Fill up your plot to within 3” of the top with aged woodchips (down below the gazebo – the blacker the better), old leaf mulch, composted manure (Rebecca Mitchem offered to use her truck to help gardeners get some from AU), or even bagged soil or compost.

  4. Replace any plants that you set aside.

  5. Top off your plot with 3” of “living mulch” (the beautiful dark pile you see by the play structure).

  6. Next, check your pH.

    1. You can borrow the garden’s pH tester. (Although, it’s been a while. I’ll have to find it).

    2. You can buy your own at Wal-mart for about $7.

    3. You can use one of these great DIY tests from Preparedness Mama for nearly free. She also gives you great lists of what grows well in acidic or alkaline soil if you don’t want to make adjustments to the pH once you know what it is.

  7. Plan your garden. I like to use the Square Foot Gardening method in such a small space.

  8. I have some additional details in our Spring Primer on our garden pages.

Where should I get seeds?

  1. Use the library’s free seed exchange. Take some. They’re free. (Most were donated to us by King’s Gardens in Lexington). Save some seeds from your own plants this year, and bring them to the library seed exchange for next year’s use.

  2. Fedco has some of the best pricing around and offers free shipping on orders over $30 and gives volume discounts for orders over $50. Shipping adds up quickly, so it may be worth it to get together with your friends and plan an order!

  3. One of my other favorite companies to order from is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (a.k.a. Rare Seeds). They are a beautiful young family with an amazing story. They travel the world collecting rare vegetable seeds, and they donate seeds generously to mission work and other causes.

  4. Johnny’s and High Mowing seeds are two other good companies, and there are more besides that you can find with a quick Google search, depending on what your criterion are. Do be aware that Fedco, Johnny’s, and High Mowing are all Northern-based companies, so double-check your cool weather seed choices to be sure they can tolerate some warmth.

  5. Other than that, some of the country stores around here have great heat-tolerant seed choices. You can also purchase seeds at Kroger, Walmart, Lowes, Southern States, or local plant nurseries. One great place to shop is with the Amish in Casey County: Homestead Gardens Greenhouse owned by Tristan and Lorna Esau. They carry garden tools, sprays, fertilizers, pots, birdhouses, feeders, wind chimes, soils, roses, fruit trees, shrubs, etc. The center is open February through September from 8am to 5pm from April to June and mid-August through September (closed Sunday).

    3765 South Fork Ridge Road
    Liberty, KY 42539

  6. Another place you can get plant starts (transplants) is from Tim Vetters of Clover Hilltop Farm or from IGA or the Farmer’s Market when it opens. They will have good tomato starts.

Where are the tools?

There are tools in the shed you are free to use. It stays unlocked. Please put everything back where it goes when you are finished. Most of the gloves that were donated to us last year “disappeared.” I found some last week in someone’s plot all crispy and probably ruined. There is also a sharpening file if you find that some of the tools are getting dull. Please do not allow your children to use any of the more dangerous tools (the diamond hoe, the Japanese hand scythe, etc.).

How do I mark my plants?

I am still working out a system that will work to mark plots yearly. Last year, I bought small metal signs and labeled them with Sharpie. However, many of the signs have gotten bent and look horrible now, and the Sharpie faded off very quickly. For my own garden at home, I went to Wal-mart and bought sturdy white plastic labels that I can use year after year. Use a 2B drawing pencil to mark them, and you can erase when you don’t need that label anymore and reuse it. These are the ones I used and have been very pleased with.

When do I plant?

I will give you the famous permaculture answer: That depends. 🙂 It depends on if you would like some early vegetables, if you are willing to cover your plot, and what you like to eat. Let me give you a couple links.

  1. Farmer’s Almanac Planting Calendar for Wilmore, KY

  2. Start at page 16 of UK’s ID-128 publication Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky. Please note that this publication has advice that does not meet our organic standards. Do not follow their guidance on conventional pesticides or herbicides.

What do I plant?

  1. Plant what you like to eat.

  2. Plant what you can’t find in the grocery store or what is too expensive to buy often.

  3. Plant what grows well here. You can also refer to ID-128 (see above) for this information.

  4. Plant what brings you joy.

  5. Here are some sample plot designs I drafted last year.

How do I plant?

Most seed packets will have instructions on how to plant. However, if you happen to have seeds that didn’t come with instructions, a general rule of them is to plant the seed down the depth of itself. For example, a bean or corn seed should go down into the ground about an inch, because once they soak up water they will swell and could push above the soil and dry out (and then the sprout would die). Many flower seeds are very tiny and should barely be covered with a dusting of soil. Google is an awesome tool, and if you are unsure about your seed, a search will lend you more information than you could ever read. Here are a few great links to get you started. As you’re planning out where to plant each thing, be sure to plan for how big the plant will get and where the sun and shade will be in your plot (a hint: the Methodist church is about North, and the Kalas homes are about South. That makes Dr. Tennent’s house near West and the gazebo East. In this hemisphere the sun will be on the South side, so you will want to plant tall plants on the North side of your plot, and short plants on the South side.).

  1. Refer to the Spring Gardening Primer again.

  2. Refer again to the ID-128 publication on page 8.

What about “bad” bugs?

In our recent garden workshops, we learned that one of the best ways to prevent pest bugs is to use row cover material (I will link to that below) to exclude them. You can also plant early or late to break the pest cycle (this takes observation, planning, and more than one year in the same location). Another option is to thoroughly search for and destroy eggs on the leaves before they become a problem. If you are unable to catch them in time, you can handpick and feed them to the chickens or drown them. We had good success with pheromone traps last year. Megan Stuhmer also found that some have had great success with covering their plant’s leaves with powdered eggshells. Last year, I did extensive work on getting us some informational pages about the bugs we deal with here. You can browse through those pages here.

What do I feed my plants?

  1. Most plants love compost. You can keep a home composter or use our garden compost systems.

  2. Many people use tea and coffee grounds in their gardens.

  3. Fish emulsion is another valuable fertilizer. You can find it at Lowes.

  4. Composted horse manure. Ideally, horse manure should sit for a year before use on the garden. It is very strong in nitrogen and can burn your plant roots if used too freshly. You can tell if it is ready for use by smelling it. If it is pungent, it is too soon.

  5. Composted chicken manure. Some garden stores sell bagged chicken manure. You can also order it on Amazon (who’d have thought).

  6. Now, don’t freak out. Please be open-minded. Watered down urine makes an excellent fertilizer, so excellent in fact that it is featured in 100 under $100, a wonderful book I’m reading about life-changing technology and small businesses for the world’s poorest people. We used it on our own farm with excellent results! If you plan to share your vegetables with your friends, and they would be squeamish, just don’t tell them. Also, if you are careful to pour it at the base of the plant and don’t splash it all over the leaves, and if you always rinse your plants before eating, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  7. Did you ever notice in Deuteronomy 12:16 how God told the Israelites not to eat the blood but to pour it on the ground. I’ve always wondered if a second benefit of that is to feed the plant life. You can buy blood meal, but sometimes I just save aside the blood from meat that I am preparing, and pour it on the ground near my plants. One caveat, you may not want to do it on your houseplants. It attracts ants. (Don’t ask me how I know).

  8. Bone meal – I have no idea how this or the blood meal are produced, so I am not vouching for the ethics of the company.

  9. Rock phosphate

  10. Green sand

  11. If you follow the Square Foot Gardening method, his simple solution is ⅓ peat moss, ⅓ vermiculite, ⅓ compost. That’s what they use to fill the entire bed. Then, each time you plant a new square, you put in a handful of compost in that square. It can be as simple as that, and you will have a very healthy garden in most cases.

How often should I water?

Our garden plots dry out very quickly in warm weather, because they are raised and fully exposed to sun and wind. It wouldn’t hurt to walk by daily and check your plot for weeds sprouting. Then, stick your finger into the soil. If the soil is dry to the second knuckle, you may want to water. If it rains that day, you do not need to water, and depending on the intensity and length of rain, you may not need to water for a few days.

How do I water?

We have a frost-free hydrant that you can use to turn on drip irrigation, use a hose, or fill a bucket or watering can for even gentler perfectly focused watering. Our drip irrigation needs to be checked for leaks before we can use it again this year, but we will be working on that soon.

Please be mindful of the hoses. I bought two new expensive ones last year, and one of them was gouged open in two different spots within a month! Your neighbors will thank you if you keep them untangled, so they can use them easily as well.

Please be mindful of our water bill. Turn off the water at the hydrant when you are finished. Every drip adds up to sometimes surprising proportions. If you send your children to water for you, please be sure they know the rules and abide by them. Last year we had some problems with children leaving water running out of the hose after they had left the garden! If a part breaks, please let me know right away, so I can buy a replacement.

What if a freak freeze comes?

Row covers are an excellent way to cover your veggies from a frost or light freeze. Rain and sun penetrate. They will see your cool weather veggies through our unpredictable February-April weather with little to no damage and will protect them from bug and bird damage in the meantime. They are $13 at Southern States and enough to cover two individual sized plots. In a pinch, you can cover your plants at night with a blanket or sheet, and remove it once the weather has warmed above freezing. I have done that too.

When is the next workshop?

Several people were unable to attend our February workshop and were asking about the next one. I am considering holding one again in March on the weekend of the 24th and 25th. How many of you would come to that? I have a couple good speakers lined up, but one of them will be traveling from Southern Kentucky, and I want to ensure good attendance.

How can I share ideas, thoughts, and recipes, as I’m learning?

Megan Stuhmer in the Alumni Office has joined us in the garden this year and created a Pinterest page for us to use to share tips, ideas, and recipes. She has already posted one great tip for battling the Japanese beetle that plagued us last year.

You can also post on the Asbury Community Garden Facebook page.

Attached below, you will find the garden map for this year. I did my best to put friends together, but some plot owners had already put work into their plots and were unable to move, so it’s not perfect. If you have any questions, just ask. 🙂

Jesse and Carrie Moffitt are looking for someone to share their plot with them. If they get an appointment, they would like to know that they can hand it off to someone to be cared for. Please email me if you are willing to partner with them or know someone who is.

Maggie Schwartz will share plot I27 with Mason Cantey, and Hannah Hutchinson will cover for them while they are away for the summer (sorry I couldn’t fit all the names in such a tiny space on the map).

Curtis Caldwell is a farmer who lives in Wesley Village and mentored some of our beginner gardeners last year. He would like to be involved again, so if anyone would like to be mentored, please email me, so I can hook you up.

Welcome to the garden!

Natasha Turner
Office of Community Formation
Community Developer Creation Care / Community Garden Coordinator
M,F 10-2; T,W,Th 8-12 (859) 858-2378