2018 Garden Update 7

Gorgeous Monarch butterfly hovers over the garden next to the Milkweed Preserve.  Photo by Peg Keller.

Finally- Nice Weather
It was a beautiful morning out at the gardens.  We did a quick walk through and, for the most part, this year’s gardeners are keeping up with their work despite the brutal hot weather!!   A few gardens are getting a new flush of weeds from the rain and last weeks heat but the nice weather the next few days will let everyone get caught  up again!

Weed Warnings
We have issued official weed warnings to a couple of gardens.  If not cleaned up by next Monday, the gardens will be forfeited.  We’ll be looking for volunteers to help clean those plots up next week if needed. Email us if you can help.  If anything is salvageable, like tomato or pepper plants, or squash, the plot can be reassigned to someone to care for and use.

Be sure to check your gardens for weeds and grasses over six inches OR going to seed.  Those can and will trigger weed warnings.

If you grew up around gardens, you probably remember the big farm gardens with NO weeds.  Part of that is from early maintenance in the spring but also from the cumulative effect of keeping weed seeds out of the gardens year after year.  We are working towards that goal in our gardens.  It’s early days yet after the gardens were allowed become totally overgrown a couple of years ago but we hope a couple more summers of hard work will get the garden plots back into shape.  Just imagine….part of a beautifully maintained farm vegetable garden will be yours!

The  Fruits of Our Labors
We saw some tiny little watermelons sprouting on the ends of few vines and redirected runners back in to gardens if we saw any runaways.  I should have grabbed a photo. They really are cute,  Be sure to check your vines every week!  The tips are vulnerable to the lawn mower!!

Gardeners are also pulling onions, picking cabbages and other greens.  All the work is starting to pay off.  We’re all looking forward to the new tomatoes and many peppers are starting to bear fruit.

A Reminder to the General Public.
This area is set aside by the City of Cedar Falls to allow area residents to be able to grow vegetable gardens when they can’t at their homes.  Each gardener pays plot rent and invests in plants and seeds and a lot of hard work to grow their favorite vegetables.  Each garden is private and can only be harvested by the individual assigned to it.

Last year we had some problems with theft.  It was especially frustrating as some of the melons and squash stolen weren’t even ripe yet.  When any of our gardeners find themselves with more produce then they can use themselves, they  donate the surplus to the Food Bank.  We encourage anyone looking for fresh produce to shop at the Farmers Market or to get in touch with the Food Bank.