Sunday, February 20, 2011

Community Garden Plots Update

It was nice enough today for me to go over to the plots and get some soil samples, more measurements and some pictures. Although it is not the perfect time to take soil samples, I really need an idea of what I'm dealing with over there. 

So, I got my gear together and headed out.

I labeled two different types of stakes that I found in our camping gear. I figured if one type didn't work the other would.

I also labeled six canning jars and lids and gathered up a hammer, little garden spade, tape measure, paper towels, a sharpie and my camera.

I took soil samples from six different locations. I marked each location with a stake and put the soil in the corresponding labeled canning jar. It wasn't too difficult to get the soil. I only had to use the hammer a couple of times to get through a little bit of frozen ground on the top. It will take a few days before I have the soil samples ready and tests complete. I will post on that when they are finished.

After that was done I thought I would get some more pictures and show everyone what I have found.

This is our neighbor to the left. I like the way they have the rain barrels elevated to get some water pressure. The plot on the right is empty and over grown.

To the left of the current gate and about where we are going to locate our new gate is an area where they put down some concrete slabs. This is a perfect spot for these.

In the back of the plots there are these huge bushes. Originally I thought that they were all raspberry I'm not so sure. These are very big with absolutely no thorns on them. What do you think....are they raspberries?? I did find some small raspberries to the right of these.

In one area toward the right side in the middle, I found some abandoned strawberry plants amongst the weeds.

On the left side amongst some weeds....abandoned onions.

All over the plots are plants like this, some are in the middle of tall weeds and some out there like this. It looks like someone planted these plots last spring and then let them go later in the season.

The right side of the plot, plants surrounded by cut off plastic containers. As you can see, the plot on the right has not been gardened for some time. There is a fence there though. I think that a new person rented it this year. We will find out.

This is the left side of the plots where the abandoned onions are located. You can see them if you blow up the picture. There is also a fence along this side.

Hopefully, after this little snow we are supposed to get the weather will stabilize and I can get over there and start cleaning up. For now I will get an idea of what is going on with the soil and start getting the other materials together that we need.


  1. Robin, looks like lots of work for you this spring. The garden looks like it has much potential. I hope your strength and desire stay strong throughout the coming months. It's a joy to read about your journey from weeds and disarray to much produce by summer's end.

    Have a great day of anticipation.

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  3. Hi Robin, as David said, lots of work ahead but it will be fun work! Exciting to plan what you'll do with your land and I'm looking forward to seeing pics of it in Summer! Maybe they are thornless blackberry? Wonder if you could put a worm farm in somehow although how would you insulate it from the cold.

  4. Oh sorry! I don't know what I did, I posted and then it didnt post so I did it again. Sorry. I blame my clumsy fingers on this silly iPhone device! Hope it warms up for you soon - it's quite cool here today, you can definitely tell Autumn is on its way.

  5. Wow, it looks like you have some work ahead of you. I am sure it won't take too long to get things cleaned up and ready for planting. How exciting!

  6. Gosh, it LOOKS like rasberries. Hate to say the only way you'll find out is to let it be. Man you've got some work ahead of you, Robin.

  7. Good thing you're retired right now! You could probably grow enough for the farmers market with all the garden space you'll have this summer. Hopefully it will be low maintenance once you get the beds planted and you'll have enough rain so you won't have to water very often.

  8. Makes me tired just looking at the pictures.

    Maybe you have thornless blackberries.

  9. David, Although I live in the city now....I am a farm girl and can out work most men!!

    Mrs. Bok, I already have the plan laid out for the gardens. I know it's going to take some time to get them in shape....but I just love that type of work.

    Rachel, Truthfully, these plots are not going to be as much work as the ones we originally thought we wanted. Those were giving me anxiety with 7-8' high weed all the way through!!

    Tami, I hate to say it...but, those bushes are going to have to come out. They take up too much room and are in a really dumb place.

    Jane, It will be great once I get the gardens going. The soil is much better then what I had when I moved here. My fround here was solid solid that rain would not soak in to the ground! These beds won't take as long to be productive and set-up.

    Granny, look who's have more energy then a teenager! They may be blackberries...but, they are going to have to be removed. They are not up against the back of the plots. There is a fence support behind them and then a 3' space behind the support and back fence. Total waste of space!

  10. I love the anticipation of starting a new garden...I'm envious! Have fun and enjoy.

  11. My guess was thornless blackberries too!

  12. Looks like lots of work, but it will be so rewarding!

  13. If those bushes are something useful, and not just weed, maybe you can move them somewhere. And in that case they need to be pruned.
    It will be very interesting to see what else will start growing on your plot once temperatures rise. I am sure there will be more surprises.

  14. Lynda, Thanks, it will be fun to get over there and get some things cleaned up.

    GLA, That's probably what they are. They are starting to we shall see.

    Erin, It's going to be fun!!! Now all I need is some better weather!

    Ana, Those bushes definitely need a good pruning just for me to get things cleaned up over there. We will see if any of them will be able to be saved or moved. I am planning to dig up and pot some of those strawberries...I just hate to throw plants out.

  15. If you like blackberries, I would take a cane sample to your co-operative extension office and ask them to identify the plant. If they are blackberries and you like them, I would prune them according to published guidance, then enjoy the yield. Those roots are really established, so the possibility of a great harvest is there. If you prune them back to get to the 3 foot space, then you can utilize both items. The space and the fruit canes.

  16. VP, I'm not really a big blackberry fan...but things tend to change! I really hate to dispose of any good plants, especially ones that are well established. They were just plopped there and left to do what ever they wanted to do. Once the weather breaks and I get things cleaned up a bit over there...I will have to re-assess the situation and garden layout.

  17. Looks like so much fun! Hopefully, this is a plot you will be able to continue to use in the future, so the work you do at the start of this year won't need to be a yearly thing. Lots of possibilities! I love the feeling of satisfaction I get from a job well done. Keep us updated!

  18. Lori, we can keep these plots forever as long as we pay the rent for the following year before the end of the year. I would never do what we are planning to do if the plots could not be kept. As you know, it takes years to get the soil really healthy and the way you want it.

  19. Lots of potential there - full sun and the fact that the overgrowth is so abundant - speaks well to the general fertility of the soil. I am excited to see this project progress!

  20. I'm with Granny, those sure look like thornless blackberries. They are easy to move. I dug some up at my old place and moved them. You could always find a home for them if you don't want them.

    It's going to take some work, but I'll bet you get those plots whipped into shape in no time!

  21. Laura, I'm working on the basic soil testing today and will be done tomorrow. So far so good!

    Villager, Thornless blackberries seem to be the consensus. I think that the work will be quite refreshing. I haven't had a big garden project to do in a couple of years!


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