In my opinion, the best and most efficient way to
water your garden is drip irrigation. It is more expensive
and more labor intensive to lay out the individual rows/plants. It
would help if your garden is set up on a computerized or electronic
controller to take the guess work out of watering. In our garden,
we have a computerized overhead sprinkler system. When in
operation, it comes on around 5 AM. We ran it every morning last year
for a light watering because our soil was compacted. Our
water bill is reduced because we have an irrigation rate and not set up as
a household type water user (sewage/water). There are many gardeners who will
advocate how bad it is to use overhead irrigation. I say "use what
you can afford". If its overhead, so be it, after all, our good earth has
been doing great for millions of years by something called "rain".
On garden paths, make sure they are 5 ft wide (main
traffic paths). Currently our paths are composed of a small limestone
gravel. Some folks call it "crush and run", some call it 'pug mix", I call
it crushed gravel. When compacted, wheelchairs have no problems rolling over
it. It's not aesthetic (see this page... http://www.casagarden.com/plantday_02.html)
and I was concerned about the heat they would create during mid-summer, so
we covered them with wood chips (see at... http://www.casagarden.com/harvest_02.html ).
This was still compacted enough for wheelchairs. The wood chips are free
via a tree service company.
A word of advice for your volunteers. Make sure:
They are given regular maintenance tasks to be
Your garden is harvested on a regular basis.
The volunteers know how to harvest a garden (don't step on
vines, how to determine if a vegetable is ready to harvest, etc.)
The volunteers are aware of potential garden
Your volunteers are having fun.
One last note, you mentioned you were expecting several
thousand pounds of harvest from your 2.38 acre garden. You would be
surprised how much a garden can produce. Having a such a
horrible season last year, we harvested about 5200 lbs in
our .4 acre garden. The previous year, our 1/3 acre
garden (old location) harvested over 19,400 lbs (2 season garden). I have
told our Board of Directors that I felt we would harvest at least 10K
lbs. this year. We shall see.
Best of luck with your neighborhood garden. Sounds
exciting. I truly believe in Second Harvest and their efforts to relieve hunger.
Jim Call, CASA Community Garden Volunteer Dir.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 3:28
Subject: [cg] Garden Paths &
We are getting ready to do our
first neighborhood garden. We are
partnering with a local business with rather significant
In addition they will be providing
us with 2.38 acres of land for this purpose and their employees will plant,
maintain and harvest the beds. The land is located next to the
business, so the employees can go out and work the garden on breaks, lunch
Harvest distribution center for eastern WA, northern ID and
Montana. Our role in this garden will be to
facilitate its initial development, provide training in gardening and then be
the recipient of the produce from all the beds. We anticipate several thousand
I have two questions for the list
Given we may be doing several
hundred beds, what are best practice options for irrigation? (Keeping in mind this won’t have a
regular staff person designated to run equipment, especially on
What are the best practice options
for garden paths, keeping in mind there may be opportunity for disabled staff
(walkers, wheelchairs etc)
We definitely want to do this
right the first time as they have let us know they will support us financially
in additional gardens depending on the success of this one. (Yeah, right, no pressure
Connie Nelson, Program
Second Harvest Food Bank of the
1234 E Front
(509) 534-6678, ext.