Saratoga Bridges Harvesting for EOC

Today a group from Saratoga Bridges cleared out their raised bed and brought the Swiss chard and corn salad they grew to the EOC food pantry.

They also harvested the heads of the sunflowers they grew this year. The weather couldn’t have been nicer. Next week, the annual rye will be planted and Saratoga Bridges will be coming again to water. Thank you.

 

Frosty Morning marks the End of Growing Season

 

Last night’s temperature dipped to 29 degrees, and our garden showed the impact this morning.

The icy crystals on the remaining plants and herbs reminded me of crystallized flowers that decorate cakes.  It is very pretty to look at as the frost clings to the edges like lace on a party dress.

It’s time now to clear the beds, we will be sowing annual rye next week and tucking the garden in for the winter. The compost is scheduled to be delivered and the bags will be placed on gardener’s beds on Thursday.

I will be in the garden Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday mornings.  If you are available to help organize the shed and a few other chores, I would appreciate the help.

We tallied the volunteer hours logged and some gardeners haven’t volunteered for the six  hours of service required of every gardener, this would be a way to make up the difference. Remember, you have to have your hours in to be eligible to keep your plot for next season.

See you at the meeting tomorrow, Wednesday night, 7 p.m. at Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street.

Warmly, Natalie

 

Great Sunflower Wreath Making Class with Suzanne Balet-Haight

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.56.40 PM Suzanne Balet-Haight taught a wreath making class in her greenhouse on Nelson Avenue Extension this morning using the sunflowers grown in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

It was great fun and each person’s wreath came out very different.  There were Adirondack style wreaths, country cottage wreaths, and even a very elegant wreath.

What did they all had in common? Sunflowers and lots of them.

Suzanne, an excellent teacher, showed everyone the proper way to attach the sunflowers using 22 gauge wire. She demonstrated making bows with grasses and how to secure different flowers she had on hand to the grapevine wreaths. Participants used marigolds, amaranths, Dallas blue grass, cedar, statice, sedums and more.

Lots of Fun and Beautiful, Too

She began by demonstrating how to make floral sprays to attach to the wreath.  Everyone in the class heard the same instructions, but the results were an individual as the participants.  A truly creative experience.Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.55.30 PM

Suzanne teaches floral decorating and wreath making throughout our area. She has taught classes on creating Christmas and hydrangea wreaths, and boxwood tree centerpieces.  If you’d like to try your hand at one, contact her through her website,  Balet Flowers and Greenhouse. She is a talented artist and knowledgeable teacher.

Also, a generous one.  The proceeds of the class today were donated to the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to put towards the Spring fairy gardens the girl scouts are creating. Thank you, Suzanne for sharing your time and talents.

 

What’s the Buzz?

Why it’s the bees of course.

Take a look at the bees and butterflies enjoying our pollinator plants.  Next year, we will create four pollinator beds filled with plants the bees, butterflies and birds find appealing.

If you want to be part of the buzz, let me know. We will need help planning, purchasing and planting seeds and transplants that have been donated.  If you have plants that are suitable for this endeavor, let me know.

We have two holding beds in the gardens with perennials that will be planted for the pollinators next Spring. But, we could use liatris, butterfly weed and echinacea to name a few.  Can you help?

 

Thank you Navy volunteers!

The Navy has been volunteering in the community gardens all summer. What a joy to have them come every week to rake, weed, move gravel, paint and more.  They are willing hands and much appreciated.

Last week, I wanted to send a little sunshine their way and told them to gather a bouquet of the sunflowers to take home with them. And, they did.

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 11.13.12 AM.png

One volunteer gave our scarecrow a sunflower for his pocket while picking some for himself.

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 11.12.45 AM.pngThank you to all the volunteers who helped in the gardens.

You all contributed to the success and sense of community. Thank you.

Tucking in the Garden

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 8.36.00 PM.pngFrost is expected again tonight.  Jim M. and I covered as much as we could with the sheets and row cover we had but not all beds are covered.

If it matters to you, go to the garden and throw a sheet over your tender plants tonight.

BTW – Covering the beds with fabric and an upholster is good fun. He was pulling the cover, draping it like a pro, securing it here and there with an exaggerated care.

“Upholsterers don’t like wrinkles,” he said with a smile.

Made my day. I’m still chuckling. Thanks twice, Jim. Once for coming out to help and again for the good humor.

What Gardeners Need to Know About Tonight’s Frost Advisory

There’s a frost advisory posted on the National Weather Service for our area tonight.  The prediction is temperatures in the 30s.

What this means for gardeners at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens depends on what you’re growing.

Some crops are sensitive to a light frost and you’ll want to harvest them today or you can cover them with a sheet tonight to protect them and take the sheet off in the morning. Other crops improve in flavor when the temperatures dip and there is no need to hurry out to the gardens to get those.

Frost sensitive vegetables include bush and pole beans, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and melons. Very sensitive herbs include basil, marjoram, dill, borage and chamomile.

Vegetables that will survive a light frost are broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, cilantro, mint, thyme, oregano and rosemary. The vines of pumpkins and squash will die, but the vegetables are fine.

A light freeze is 28°–32°F, and a hard freeze is below 28°F. In our area, the first hard frost typically happens in mid-October.  I say typically because our weather earlier this month was anything but typical.

On September 1, we had a light frost touch some of the plants, particularly squashes and pumpkins. This left vines damaged and happened in the lower areas of our community gardens.

 

 

The Plus Side of Frost 

There are vegetables you want to be touched by frost. Some vegetables, like beets, carrots, and parsnips get sweeter and will keep, even when temperatures fall lower, especially if you mulch. Other vegetables and herbs that will survive a frost include: kale, cabbage, leeks, potatoes, turnips, chives, parsley, sage, garlic, onions and Brussel Sprouts. If  you’re growing these, tonight’s weather shouldn’t be a factor.

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 11.20.15 AM.png