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 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