May 13, 2012
Oakvale Green gardeners turned out in force for the first community session of the season.
Many hands – and the many tools brought by gardeners – made fast work of the weeds in flower beds. Dandelions were ousted from the vegetable plot area – This tool came in very handy – and mulch was spread between the plots, for a more cohesive and attractive look. The orchard received a much-needed drink of water. Compost was spread hither and yon.
Our Master Gardeners, Gwen and Murray, were on hand to answer questions and offer advice. Gwen, just back from Floriade, the World Horticultural Expo in the Netherlands, described how the 88-acre show site will become a public garden. While in Holland, she spotted many allotments. Not surprising – according to Wikipedia, allotments were introduced to Holland in 1838, and the country is now home to more than 240,000 of these gardens.
Murray pointed out that “three sisters planting” is a useful technique for maximizing a small vegetable plot. Corn, beans and squash are the three inseparable “sisters” of Iroquois legend and they were traditionally interplanted in the same mound (see lots of photos here). A contemporary variation on this theme could involve peas, beans or nasturtiums growing up the corn stalk, with kale, parsley or lettuce growing at its foot.
We look forward to learning more tips and techniques from our Master Gardeners!