Crop Rotation

brief newspaper article on crop rotationI’m not sure “crop rotation” applies to small garden beds, especially when they are tightly spaced as in OGCG, but the principle holds true: you can’t plant the same thing, year after year, without depleting key nutrients those plants need and increasing pests and diseases associated with those plants.

Anna provided the article at right to help explain. The article suggests a rotation of:
Year 1: tomatoes
Year 2: brassica (cabbage) family
Year 3: onion family

This article will be updated and expanded in the near future.

Also, an article on garlic pests will be developed (garlic needs rotation of at least three years).

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2015 Shade Survey

summary of 2015 shade survey showing presence of shade at 10, 1 and 4 o'clock
In response to several members’ concern for how shade limits their ability to grow vegetables, a survey of shade in the gardens was conducted in 2015. The results of the OCGC Shade Survey were used to adjust plot fees for the 2016 season. The image above shows the summary results of the survey; the full results of the OCGC Shade Survey are available in pdf format.
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OGCG Sign Refurbished

OGCG sign on side of raised garden bed
Thanks to Brian for refurbishing the OGCG sign!

OGCG Sign Winter 2015

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Garden Shed Tidy

inside of garden shedThanks to James (Maintenance Coordinator) for tidying up the garden shed and building a rack to hold the garden tools.

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New Gardens Sign

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the new OGCG sign is finally up.

Oakvale Green Community Gardens sign made from driftwood and mounted on side of garden boxThe wood was salvaged by Kathryn and Nicholas from the Outer Harbour Marina, an ex-gardener (and former manager of this web site) Amy Satherwaite burned the lettering and image into the wood, and it was finished (oiled) by Nicholas. Then the sign sat there and waited two years for the TTC to give us permission to put a sign up on their property (they wouldn’t let us mount it as a free-standing sign). Brian put the sign up. Thanks for all the great work!

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Edible Weeds

Before you throw those weeds on the ground consider that some are more tasty and nutritious, not to mention grow more readily, than the very plants you are helping to grow. Here we can consider three common edible weeds people probably already know about, and three lesser-known plants.

Identifying the more edible varieties will help ensure you have a better experience eating these weeds but don’t be too cautious and avoid them altogether. Remember:

  1. the most edible varieties are most common and grow larger so they are the ones you are most likely to find in your garden, and
  2. you are not going to find a similar plant that is going make you sick.

If you want to start slowly on these, or if you only have a few to work with, just add some to your regular leafy vegetables.
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Leaf miner season

Anyone growing spinach or chard (or beets potentially too) should be on the look-out for leaf miner, that little maggot that burrows into the leafs creating little tunnels and eventually large dead splotches on the leaves. The miner is the larval stage of a fly and the adult fly is hard to control so focus on the eggs and larvae. Last year was a bad year for leaf miner and this year is shaping up to be another bad year for spinach.

leaf miner

leaf miner eggs on spinach (May 28, 2013)

leaf miner on spinach

leaf miner eggs
(close-up of left)


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Spring 2013 – New Beginnings

Jesse's cherry treeApril 30, 2013
Spring has arrived and many of our gardeners have started planting spinach, lettuce and peas (mustard greens are also good). As the season for new beginnings, this spring also welcomes in a revitalised version of the Oakvale Green Community Gardens website. This site will be the public face of the Oakvale Greens Community Gardens and the old site (oakvalegardens.ca) will be decommissioned.

The Oakvale Green Yahoo Groups page will remain home of all official member information such as the member roll, by-laws and the membership agreement. All archived content on the Yahoo site is accessible only to oakvalegreen group members. Members who want to communicate with the group as a whole should continue to do so through the Yahoo Group page by posting a comment, which will be sent to all members.

The Oakvale Green Facebook page is still active so check in for more up-to-the-minute news and discussion.

This site will be expanded over the year but no promises as to how much. 😛

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Greetings!

March 24, 2012
Greetings! Welcome to the Oakvale Green Community Garden blog.

A community garden is defined as a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people.That sums it up nicely, but of course, there’s so much more to it. Whether it’s an urban or rural patch of land, whether ornamentals and/or vegetables are planted, whether the gardeners are neighbours or strangers or a mix, each community garden has its own style, its own personality.

It’s rather like ‘terroir‘, the word French winemakers use to describe the special and unique characteristics of the earth that sustains their vines. The renowned wine author Hugh Johnson, writes that, “…it means the whole ecology of a vineyard: every aspect of its surroundings from bedrock to late frosts and autumn mists, not excluding the way a vineyard is tended, nor even the soul of the vigneron.”

Through this blog, we’ll all learn something about Oakvale Green and its terroir – the features of land, climate, location and relationships that make our garden grow.

A new season is upon us and we have some exciting plans for improving our flower gardens and helping all plot gardeners to enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of their labour.

Stay tuned!

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2017 AGM

Monday, April 17th 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

image of brewery buildingLeft Field Brewery
36 Wagstaff Drive
map of brewery location

Site webpage: www.leftfieldbrewery.ca


Agenda:

  • Sign up for watering teams
  • Sign up for mid-summer work day
  • Collect plot fees and member agreements

 

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Summer Work Day 2016

The second OGCG community work day will take place on:

Sunday, July 31st from 2:00–4:00pm.

Attendance at this work day is required to maintain your membership in good standing.

An additional work day has been added on Sunday, August 28th from 2:00–4:00pm.

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Spring Work Day 2016

The first OGCG community work day will take place on:

Sunday, May 1st from 2:00–4:00pm.

The rain-date is Saturday, May 9th from 2:00–4:00pm.

Attendance at this work day is required to maintain your membership in good standing.

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Suggested Hand Pruners

yardworks pruners
While finding the best set of pruners is generally a matter of personal preference, after years of experience i feel it important to let everyone know about a very good and inexpensive set of bypass pruners that is currently on sale at Canadian Tire (pictured above). With bypass pruners, the blades pass one another, unlike anvil pruners where one blade comes down on top of the other. These are best for general pruning jobs around the garden; anvil pruners are better for hard, dry wood such as twigs.

The Yardworks pruners are solid, forged steel from blade to handle so are very durable. They are also made from high-carbon steel, which sharpens very well, although tends to rust more easily; as they are very solid any rust can be rubbed off with steel wool or a file and still be sharpened so that’s a minor issue. The only problem i have had in 5–6 years is the little wire catch that keeps them closed can break, but that is fairly easy to fix or ignore. The pruners are on sale at Canadian Tire for $8.00 + HST from April 8–14. The express store at Danforth and Pape usually carries them. If you miss the sale you can find them on sale, usually at %50 off or more, a few times a year. Even at full price they are a good investment.
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