Community Garden 2013

My plot at 78th St. Heritage Farm community gardens - year 2.

2013 Community Garden Veggies

plant, (variety), date, note, advice for next year
:) happy face = I liked it, it grew and I ate it
:( frowny face = problems, it died, had bugs, grew poorly

Beans (Blue Lake Bush) bought accidentally, try to buy pole beans next year
Beans (Blue Lake Pole) :) easier to pick, 3 plants, one per pole next year
*2 years in a row did not find Scarlet Runner Beans, look for them in catalog

Carrot (seed starts) :( 6/08 need loose soil and spacing, maybe container is better

Corn (Super Sweet) 5/25 :) good corn, but ears don't keep long (bugs, birds, mildew)
Corn (Bodacious) 

Onion (Walla Walla) :) way too many starts in a pony pack
Onion (Yellow Sweet Spanish) smaller than Walla Walla, just as much work to clean and peel

Potato (Russet) 5/19 sometimes bigger, but skin is rough and dirty
Potato (Yukon Gold) :) 5/19 like the smooth skin, Hana had red potatoes a lot like these

Pumpkin (tiny) :( vines are hollow- bug?) 7/1 now growing again, :) 3 mini pumpkins!
Pumpkin (Cinderella) covered the entire plot, pretty pink/orange color, 3 pumpkins
Pumpkin () ?

Squash (Crookneck) 5/11 all squash had mildew, sprayed 1x, crookneck still producing in Sept.
Zucchini ()5/11 produced earlier and stopped
Zucchini () 6/8 produced later and stopped, not enough to get sick of

Tomato (Big Boy) 6/8 big red tomato
Tomato (Black Krim) 6/8 :( 7/1 starting to look wilted, flea beetles, sprayed for flea beetle, this plant came back from the dead and produced several tomatoes
*asked garden mentor who emailed photo to other Master Gardeners, got one reply using the word "blight" and no response - ever, just not helpful
Tomato (Yellow Pear) :) 6/8 so many tomatoes! later fruit had a lot of splits
Tomato (Stupice) :) 6/8 little red tomato
:( sprayed all tomatoes and potatoes for flea beetles with organic Safer Tomato Spray, two bottles, until too poor to continuing buying it

July 13, 2013

This year at the community garden I planted more and tried new veggies. The Master Gardeners took over the community garden from the County. There was a lot of confusion at the Orientation meetings, over the rototilling schedule, and available compost. Despite a new bulletin board constructed in spring, little info was provided and no form of communication with the gardeners was posted there. I later discovered that messages were left in the shed.

It was their first year and they made several physical improvements to the gardens. They did provide test plots and garden mentors, but unless you happened to meet that person, there's no way you would know about it. Despite all this, they showed more interest and involvement in the gardens than the County had. There's a lot of potential at Heritage Farm, but it may take a few years.

This year I realized that gardening in a community garden had a few drawbacks that impacted my crop. Both years in the same plot I had flea beetles, not a few, but an infestation. They tried to eat everything and when I sprayed the tomatoes and the potatoes they hopped on over to the beans and corn. I had never heard of them until last year and learned they are soil born, their larvae is in that dirt. I realized this year that no matter how much I sprayed or when I would always have to contend with them. Just not worth $60 for the plot and all those bottles of Organic spray.

Another drawback is that neighboring gardeners leave garbage, weeds that seed, and sometimes piles of discarded veggies in their plots. These plots are only separated by a 2' path. This is essentially at the edge of your own garden. Both years my plot was surrounded by untended, weedy plots. I've seen rodents 3 times this year and there are small piles of discard veggies all around. Then there's the concept of sharing water. We all have our own hoses, but 4 plots share a faucet. Every time I've been to the garden this year, I have had to move my neighbor's hose (sometimes in my plot and still attached to the faucet). 

I felt the Master Gardeners could have done more to encourage everyone to follow the rules agreed to in our initial contract, which included pages about weeds, faucets and garbage. I eventually decided, that even without a yard, I would prefer to have more control over my veggies and the conditions they are grown in. 


  1. What a beautiful garden, it looks so organized compared to mine! I'm trying out two new tomatoes this year. One is SuperSauce by Burpee, since I like to can, and the other is something like Beefy Boy that's supposed to be super resistent to disease. I'm looking forward to seeing some red! I have to say the SuperSauce tomatoes are really big and fat!

  2. Yes, I see a few yellow squash blooms now, but I'm ready to see red (and yellow pear) tomatoes. Good luck with your two new varieties.