March News from the MMG Edible Demonstration Garden
The Demo garden team moved forward with projects this past month because, unlike January and February 2019, we have not had to cancel our garden care days due to rain. Trying not to worry about our lack of rain, we removed our pesky Buckthorn tree (invading roots) and made some progress at least on paper on our new trellis/fence barrier.
Before moving on to the heady days of the spring/summer season, it’s worth it to reflect on and maybe make notes about the successes and failures of your fall/winter garden. Our number one success this season was arugula (‘Astro’) and beginning with its first harvest October 15th, it provided us with fresh, spicy greens at least every other week. We are still harvesting and enjoying it. Russian Kale was also productive but we found that our crew was less excited about taking this home for dinner than other plants in our garden. First lesson learned-don’t plant something that you’re not going to eat! We also planted celery for the first time and the good news is that it’s crunchy and juicy but it took a long time to grow so be prepared to give up a space in your garden for lots of months. Another plant that takes a long time to grow are carrots but it is well worth the time to have fresh multi-colored carrots in January. Now here is the bad news in one word- aphids! Yes, they are around in the winter even in the rain. We had to remove our beets and Swiss chard because of huge infestations. Another lesson learned- that even during the fall rains, you have to monitor for aphids and catch them before it’s too late. One last thing … in the late fall with our continuous rains (yes, there was actually rain then.), our leaf lettuce and spinach developed Downey Mildew. We have Powdery Mildew in the summer that thrives in hot, dry weather and does not like water and in the winter we get Downey Mildew that loves the rain and damp. A gardener’s challenges never allow for rest, even in the winter!
During the winter, our Demo Garden team is working every Tuesday from 9:00-11:00. We add a Friday workday during the busy spring/summer months. Anyone is welcome to stop by, help with the work, or just take a tour. Learn along with us as we try new plants, engage in copious gardening conversations, and harvest the fruits of our labor.