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CASA Community Garden--was advice needed on mulch for paths

  • Subject: [cg] CASA Community Garden--was advice needed on mulch for paths
  • From: "Rachel August" rachelaugust@charter.net
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 22:11:47 -0700

Jim, I checked out your website. That is an amazing garden...and the website is pretty cool too. You and the volunteers have the right to feel proud of your efforts.

As for those hanging tomato buckets, at the end of the 2005 growing season, Wal-Mart gave us (a group of folks who help with school gardens) their leftover brand new buckets. As I recall, from the five stores in Reno and Sparks, we received about 50. They also gave us some miscellaneous products they wanted to be rid of to make room for winter holiday products. Safeway stores also gave us their leftover bagged soil and compost, valued at several hundred dollars. All we had to do was ask!

Which variety of tomatoes are you growing in those buckets? I'm thinking they would have to be a determinate, yes?

Beginning in January 2005 and during the ensuing 14 months, I worked with Sparks, Nevada, city officials to establish a community garden. I could write volumns regarding this effort and the many frustrations encountered. The final result, however, was that in April 2006, Mayor Geno Martini and his city manager decided that a community garden was not needed or wanted. According to Geno, "a community garden is not the best use of city property nor its funds." Note, city elections will be held this fall so it may not be the dead issue he thinks it is.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Call" <jimcall@casagarden.com>
To: <Adam36055@aol.com>; <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 7:40 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] advice needed on mulch for paths

Since wood chips are delivered free to our garden, we use them. I have the
tree folks calling me all the time looking for a place to dump their chips
somewhere otherwise they have to pay tipping fees at our local landfill.

We probably got 15 to 20 dump truckloads of chips dumped in our garden paths
and between the raised beds we created this year.

See at... http://www.casagarden.com/grow.htm

In the tomato, cucumber, zucchini, and squash rows, the wood chips you see
are about 15" to 20" deep! The vegetables are growing on rows raised the
same height.
We raised our rows this year to address drainage/soil compaction problems.
Problem solved. I hope to double our yield this year now that these
problems are solved.

I understand the use of small rock/pea gravel in garden paths. Since its so
hot in Alabama anyway, I like to use wood chips because it generates less
heat than rock.

Eventually, we may have to use bricks or crushed bricks in our walking paths
(I like Adam's posting) if they become too high from using wood chips. .

FYI - in reference to growing tomatoes upside down (previous postings), when
using standard 5 gal plastic buckets, make sure you secure them with extra
support (I used nylon rope since I had it available). The wire handles
can't support the weight of the soil, water and the ever growing tomato
(hopefully bountiful) plant. Two weeks ago, I found 2 of our planters on
the ground because the wire handles broke loose from the buckets. I came
back later that day to re-engineer their support (they won't fall now).


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