More Cedar Falls Community Garden plots are now available, but I’ll be pausing the release of any new 10 X 20 ‘half plots’ until mid-April when I can reassess the overall space in the garden and the city’s progress on repairing or replacing the water main/water supply (so 10 X 40 plots, which are two adjoining 10 X 20 plots, are available). If you have purchased a plot this I’ll be adding the plot assignments by the weekend of April 10th and 11th.
I’m pleased to announce that garden plots are available for all Cedar Falls residents starting on March 15th. Thanks for everyone’s patience for the late start this winter/spring. As those of you know who gardened here last year, we had not one but two water main breaks and I didn’t want to issue an open call for plots until I found out if the repair/replacement work would take several plots out of commission or not. The good news is, and thank you to our city colleagues, the main will be repaired or replaced in the next few weeks, well in advance of the growing season. As you reserve plots this year, please note that we will have a limited number of half plots (10 X 20 for $25) available compared to past years and I expect the demand for half plots will exceed supply. So please reserve early if you want a half plot; we have plenty of full plots to rent out.
Hi gardeners, my name is Alex Oberle and I am the new Community Gardens of Cedar Falls manager for 2021. I want to thank former managers Peg Keller and John Smith for the assistance that they have provided to help me transition into this role over the past few months. I’ve gardened at the community gardens since the very first year it was established, typically renting a full plot and growing both vegetables and flowers, especially tomatoes and winter squash. My wife and I have a big backyard garden too, but every year that goes by there is more shade and we’ve had to transition some of those raised beds back to lawn due to lack of sunlight. I look forward to meeting all of you. Please always feel free to email me with any questions or concerns at cedarfallscommunitygardens at gmail.com.
As soon as the ground is dry, the city is set to till and we can begin gardening. Technically we are currently sold out of plots, however I have requested the city till the full 25 rows of plots and if they do, that will open up a lot more plots to garden. Once we know what is tilled, you can request to move your current plot if you like and we will be locked in to those plots as of May 10th for the season.
If you are interested in gardening, but have questions, please contact us. We will be happy to answer them.
WE DO NOT EXPECT COVID-19 TO IMPACT GARDENING FOR THE 2020 SEASON.
Social distancing should not be an issue if we visit in our own plots.We might have to yell across the plots or communicate more via email, but I do not expect any major changes. Make sure to throw any trash away so no one else has to pick it up. We will have a seed and seedling swap the first Saturday in May, and that will be staggered so we don’t have to actually come in a group. If you have any extra seeds or seedlings, or need seeds/seedlings please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form so we can organize this with safety in mind.
It has been a beautiful week, so we’ve been thinking about gardening as April opens and May rapidly approaches. The Community Garden has six open plots left for lease for the 2020 season in the first phase. Although we can open up the West Side of the gardens, they have not been used in a few years and we will likely stop leasing plots when the six left are taken.
The garden has gotten a lot of use since it it opened after the 2008 floods and we need to be thinking about how our gardening impacts the soil quality. So, this year we have set aside conservation plots. We will plant nitrogen fixing green crop covers this summer and move the gardens down next year to give the current plots a rest. Rotating our plots will keep the soil healthy and reduce soil borne viruses and pests that we have seen increase in the past few years. So, next year, you will have a different plot while we use cover crops on the plots we use this year.
If you are new to gardening with us, please read up on the rules and tips and I want to emphasize again, please do not plant potatoes. The Colorado Potato beetle that destroyed last year’s crops will be present in the soil this year and unless you are vigilant about removing every last beetle and egg from the plant, it will kill all your potato plants and move onto everyone else’s tomatoes.
If you planted squash last year, rotate where you planted due to vine borers and keep an eye out for the signs https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-insects/squash-vine-borers.
We will be posting more often as we get closer to May and hopefully the city will get back to me with the til plans.
Let me know if you have any questions- Peg.
Reserve your plot now, cost is $25 for a 10 x 20 plot (half of a full size plot).
If you are with a non-profit or eligible for SNAP, plot size will be doubled for the same price. Each 10 x 40 plot will cost $25. Contact us at email@example.com for more details prior to ordering.
Please do not order more than you can handle taking care of. New gardeners to the community garden are limited to one 10 x 40 plot for the first year. Return gardeners are limited to four full size plots. If space is available June 1, you can purchase another plot at that time.
If you want the same plot as last year, please contact us and let us know. It is highly recommended that you rotate your crops, especially tomatoes and squash. You can reduce viruses and vine borers by not replanting in the same area.
If you need seeds or plants, please let us know as we always have extra and are happy to share. If you have extra seeds or plants, please let us know that, too. The first week in May we will have a plant and seed swap. The garden will open May 1, earlier or later, weather permitting.
The gardens close on November 1st. The water will be turned off then. All garden debris needs to be removed and hauled to the compost facility nearby. If you do haul it to the back of the gardens, it must go to the far far back, not just to the first line of trees.
Failure to clean up your plot means you may not be allowed to rent again next year.
The river is forecast to rise this weekend but the projected crest is far below the level where it hits the gardens. That said, if you have crops still there, watch the forecast.
For various reasons, we have decided to step down from the garden’s managing committee at the end of this gardening season. This means that a new committee will be needed for next year’s operations.
If you are interested in the duties of a committee member or have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to tell you how we have functioned for the past three years
We’ll have a new committee meeting in September so we can hand over the reins.
John and Mary Jo
Lots of gardens going in!!!! We had three people wanting the last plot so we opened a new row on the west end past the flower row. So we now have two plots still up for grabs,
Special thanks to Caleb and his son and their friend for mulching down the central pathway for us!!! We really really really appreciated all the hard work and commitment. After the rains, we are realizing how nice that mulched area will be when moving hoses and walking between plots,
Sounds like the weather is finally going to warm up next week so the soil will warm and the plants already in the ground will get to growing and the seeds will start germinating as well.
The gardens are ready to go. This morning, John, Deb and I (mostly John) got the hoses set up and measured and marked all the plots. So what does each marker mean??
The plots have grown over the years. We didn’t check widths but the plots vary from maybe 9 1/2 to 11 feet wide. And the plots are now 20 1/2 to 21 foot long. The pink flags we put out on the north and south ends of the plots not only identify the plot, it sets the maximum boundaries. In some rows, the tiller went a little past but that happens with big machinery. So please, don’t plant past the pink flags. Plus, if you dig more than 2 or 3 inches deep in that runout area, you hit hard dirt!!
Most of the gardens this year seem to be double plots but we still have a few single plots. The dividing line between plots are also marked with a pink flag.
When you put up fences, set them inside the plot 3 or 4 inches so you can keep a clean hoe line on the outside of the fence and we can get the mower right up to the fence.
The Middle Aisle
We placed stakes and twine to mark the six foot center aisle that must be kept clear for hoses and walking. Those also serve as boundaries. We’ll take them down once you get your gardens in and/or fences up.
One Plot Left
We still have on 10 by 20 plot left for ‘late’ gardeners. It can be reserved on the Reserve a Plot Page.