Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 May Update and Plant Sale!

Hello Gardeners!

The 2015 growing season is well under way, and many of the plots in the garden are already taking shape so great work! Even if you're a little behind there is plenty of time to catch up, and if you need a little help...

Event: King St. Memorial Garden Official Opening & Plant Sale - Saturday/Sunday May 23rd & 24th - 9AM to Noon

We will be celebrating the official opening of the gardening season on May 23rd and 24th in the community garden from 9 am to Noon. We will have organic seedlings available for sale, and will have committee members on hand to answer any questions you may have. If you have any specific requests let us know and we'll see if we can get them there. Please join us!

Open Plots

We still have a few open plots, so if you know anyone that is interested please direct them to the recreation department. They can sign-up, pay, and be assigned a bed immediately.

Shed Keys

Over the years we've lost a large number of shed keys to gardeners who have left and not returned them.  One of the solutions we're considering is switching the lock to a combination lock, as this would be far less expensive them duplicating additional keys and easier to distribute changes to.  If you have any concerns please let us know, if we do make the switch I will be e-mailing out the combination to all current gardeners.

Where and When for Pests & Diseases

This winter was longer and stronger than anything I've experienced in New England and it has also shifted the arrival times of some of the pests I would have expected to see already. If you spot anything in the garden please let me know so I can inform you of organic ways to deal with the pests.


One of the advantages of the deep raised beds in the community garden is they help reduce the number of times a week you need to water your bed. Once your plants are established a single deep watering each week with about an inch of water should keep your bed in great shape. At the beginning, however, and especially when the weather is very hot young seedlings need to be looked after daily until their roots establish. If you have any specific watering questions let us know!

With the weather as hot and dry as it has been make sure when you water that it is saturating the layers underneath the first half inch. It is very easy this time of year to just wet the surface and then have most of it evaporate before penetrating to the layers below.

What's Landed in the Garden?

Toddler for Scale

With the help of the Franklin Charter School and gardeners we've kept the weeds in the garden under control for the most part, but we do still have a few trouble areas. I have some Solar Cones that I've used to warm up the soil in my own garden, but what I've found they're really great at is solarizing a section of the garden that I want to kill all the weeds in. I'm going to be placing the cones in some of the trouble spots and moving them around to hopefully clear them of weeds. As a fun experiment stick your hand down the top of one on a hot day just to see how much they concentrate heat! I'll be setting these up during the Opening this coming weekend.

As always if you have any questions let us know!


Chris Clay & The Franklin Community Garden Committee

Friday, October 3, 2014

Garlic Planting Event - Saturday October 4th 10am-11am

News from Chris Clay, our Garden Coordinator:

Garlic Planting Event - 
Saturday October 4th 10am-11am

The Friends of Franklin Community Gardens will be running a class on how to plant garlic this coming Saturday at the garden, and we will have garlic available for purchase.  We'll cover planting it this fall, and what you'll need to do in the spring through harvesting it in the summer.  If you've never grown your own garlic, I highly recommend trying it.  Home grown garlic far exceeds what you'll find in stores, and once you start you can replant what you've grown easily year to year. (Shallots will also be available.)
Organic Garlic sourced locally from Powisset Farm in Dover.
Organic Shallots, also local, from Grateful Farm in Franklin.

End of Season King St. Work Day - Saturday October 18th 9am to Noon

If you haven't volunteered for your work day yet this year, this is your last chance and it should be a blast.  Last year we went out with a bang with our largest turnout of the season.  It was a great event, and we hope to duplicate it this year.  Come meet your fellow gardeners as we put the garden to bed.

Ending the 2014 Growing Season

For many the growing season is over, if your garden is finished please clear it out and place the remains in the compost bin.  For those of you with late season gardens you're free to continue growing as long as you need, but water will be turned of near the end of October as the threat of freeze looms.  If you are planning on overwintering any plants such as parsley, strawberry, etc these are all allowed and do not need to be cleared.  If you have any questions let us know.

New Beds for the 2015 Season

Thanks to a grant from the YMCA and Healthy Futures we will be adding two additional beds to the community garden for the 2015 season.  If you know of anyone who is interested in joining the garden next year let them know that we are currently taking gardeners for the waitlist. The only requirement is that they must be a Franklin resident.  The can join it by sending us an e-mail at franklincommunitygardens@gmail.com with their name, address, and phone number.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Sprouts July 13th and 14th, 9am to 11am

Please join us on July 13th and 14th, from 9am to 11am, at the King St. Memorial Garden for child focused gardening events. Grown-up children welcome as well!  Attendees can make their own pots and plant green beans in them to take home.  We will also be planting green beans in the garden itself.  These beans will then be available for children to harvest at events on September 7th and 8th, when the beans are mature.

We will also be giving tours of the garden to help children identify the plants that grow the fruits and vegetables that they love, or refuse, to eat.  This is an excellent opportunity to have your children learn about where their food comes from, and eat something they've grown from seed.  In the short time since the garden was founded we've had numerous parents comment on the difference growing their own vegetables made in their children's eating habits.  This is an opportunity for the community at large to join in the fun, so please tell your friends!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Garden Celebration!

Spring is just around the corner, and as Saint Patrick's Day approaches, so too does our first major garden event of the year.

Spring Garden Celebration 2013
@ King Street Memorial Community Garden

On Sunday March 17th, from 9am until Noon we'll be in the garden hosting some special events to kick off the growing season!

- Raised Bed Construction Demonstration - We'll be building four new raised beds in the garden.  Come along to lend a hand and learn what you need to build one of your own for home.

- Seed Exchange - Bring your excess seeds and exchange them with other gardeners for those you need.

- Winter Sowing - Learn how to create your own mini-greenhouse out of a milk jug to give your seeds a head start on the season.

- Pea Planting - We'll be running a pea planting demonstration in the Food Pantry bed. Yes, you can plant seeds in March!

The Franklin Community Garden Committee has been hard at work preparing for the garden's third season as we work to add new beds, and bring in new members from the wait list.  We're looking for some new committee members to help us to continue this great community project. 

our page:

 If you are interested in becoming a committee member please contact us via the gardenmail link on the sidebar for additional information.

See You At The Garden!

Monday, June 11, 2012

June Garden News

Hello Gardeners!

The weather has been cooperating beautifully with an excellent mix of rainy weather and sunny weather, and the garden is looking fantastic.  As a reminder, if you're still setting transplants it is best to do this on an overcast day, or if you must on a sunny day do it in the evening.  Transplants can wilt very easily on hot sunny days.  Transplants also need water daily in hot sunny weather, once their roots establish after around two weeks they can go much longer without water.

June Garden Pests

We're not the only ones enjoying the gardens, the garden pest are invading and enjoying the fruits of our hard labors.  When I was in the garden yesterday I didn't see any beds that needed immediate control, but there are some of the baddies to be on the lookout for.  An important concept in organic gardening is pest thresholds.  We don't need our plants to be completely devoid of pests, having some is in fact totally fine.  A small amount of pests leaves room for predators to move in and establish themselves in the garden to do the controlling for us.  Sometimes, however, the pests pass a threshold where they will seriously impact plant output.  At that point we employ controls.

Cabbage Loopers
Flea Beetles
Cucumber Beetles

Pest Control Presentation
Time: Saturday June 16th 9am-11am
Location: King St. Memorial Garden

We'll be covering various organic pest control methods in the garden this coming Saturday.  If you have any questions about what to do it'll be a great opportunity to learn how to identify pest at threshold levels, and what to do about them.  After the presentation we'll be working on general garden maintenance as well so please join in!

Dogs in the Garden

We've had reports of dogs being brought into the garden and urinating on the beds.  If you have a dog please leave them outside the garden when you visit!  All it takes is a larger dog jumping into a bed once to ruin months of work for a fellow gardener.  Thank you!

Call for Members

The Franklin Community Garden Committee is looking for new members as the first year terms for our current committee are coming to a close and due to life needs some of our members must move on.  If you're interested in becoming more involved in the garden this is a great opportunity to help play a larger role.  If you're interested simply reply to this e-mail and we'll contact you with additional details.

Garden Maintenance and Red-Flags

The Garden Committee has decided to institute a new system for the garden this year where we'll be visiting the garden and flagging beds as a way to quickly communicate areas that need addressing.  We'll also be flagging areas in the garden at large that need work.  If you have a flag please address the issue and deposit the flag back in the shed for future use.  If you forget your key you can place the flags outside the shed entrance.

Flag Types:

Harvest - This is simply a reminder flag that the flagged crop is ready for harvest.  This does not mean you need to remove the plants!  We understand that many new gardeners don't always know when something is ready to pick.  I flagged a number of lettuce and spinach crops this weekend as ready to harvest.  With our hot weather some spinach has already gone to seed and the lettuce will soon follow so pick it while it is in its prime.  Remember with lettuce you don't need to harvest the whole plant, although you can for ease.  You can simply pick the outer leaves which will be replaced as the plant continues to grow.  If you are unclear what a flag is referring to please send an e-mail to franklincommunitygardens@gmail.com for clarification.  If you can send a picture it'll speed the process.

Weed - An area in your bed or around your bed needs to be weeded.  In another week or two some spinach will be flagged with weed instead of harvest as once they've gone fully to seed they will be weeds effectively. If you have a weed flag please address it as soon as possible.

Weed & Woodchip - There are areas of the garden that need to be weeded and then have woodchips dumped on top for additional suppression.  If you have some time please help keep the garden looking great!

Red Triangle Award

The Friends of Franklin Community Gardens was honored with the Red Triangle Award from the Hockomock Area YMCA for its work in bringing Franklin its first community garden.

Empty Beds

We've had a few gardeners fail to plant for a number of reasons.  These beds are being re-assigned to new gardeners who should be taking over soon!

Happy Gardening!

Chris Clay
King St. Garden Coordinator
and The Franklin Community Gardens Committee

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Bug Me! 6/16/12

Curious about what's been eating its way through your garden?  

Bring your questions to the Franklin Community Garden at the King Street Memorial Park on Saturday, June 16 at 9 AM, where garden coordinator Chris Clay will be discussing common garden pests and the safe, earth-friendly methods you can use to deal with them.  

The King Street Memorial Garden is an organic garden.

This event is free and open to the public.

cutworm larva

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And We Are One.

Happy Birthday to King Street Memorial Community Garden!

Thank you to all of our gardeners, supporters,
Friends, partners, and volunteers!

How awesome are those teeny iced peas and carrots?  

Cake from Whole Foods Bellingham

{so good....}

We're already rolling up the sleeves for another epic year.

Thank you, again!