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April News from the MMG Edible Demonstration Garden

IVO F&G
My, oh my…. how things have changed and in less that a month! The Demo Garden team, like all of us, is trying to adjust to this new normal that we are living. The College of Marin has limited our group to just two people working there at a time, maintaining the required 6’ distance of course. The funny thing is that as the world around us has changed considerably, when we visit the garden, it is exactly as we left it- peaceful, quiet, beautiful, and comforting. So as you find peace in your own gardens, here are some ideas for you to consider based on our activities over the last month.

The Demo team has turned the clock forward as we move from winter to spring/summer season. We have removed most of our winter plantings and refreshed the beds with compost, always a must. Make a habit of adding compost in the spring and also in the fall if you plan on a fall garden. Just add 1-2 inches on top of your soil. Your garden will be so appreciative.

We have also cut down our cover crops that were planted last fall; fava beans in a few beds and a mixture of crimson clover and rye grass at the back of our garden where we are trying to improve the soil. After the fava beans were blooming but before they produced pods, we cut the parts growing above the soil into pieces and dug them lightly into the soil. We will let them sit for at least a few weeks so they can start decomposing. Fava beans like all beans produce nitrogen nodules on their roots and that gives your soil a much needed nitrogen boost at the beginning of the spring planting season. Crimson clover and rye grass provide nitrogen as well. The mantra in organic gardening is “feed the soil, not the plant”. So consider this fall making room for cover crops in your garden.

For the time being, we are unable to invite you to join us in the garden on our workdays. But when we are able to resume regular activities, we will throw the garden gate wide open and joyously invite you all in!