The Summer Garden
It is time to make plans for maintaining your school garden over the summer, as it will be here before you know it. Here are some suggestions:
Mulch – Mulching pathways and garden beds will reduce the need to weed and water. Materials that can be used include cardboard, newspaper, straw, plastic mulch, paving stones, and cover crops.
Irrigation – Use drip irrigation to use water most efficiently. Do you feel tethered to your garden because you are constantly stopping by to water it? Put a timer on your irrigation system!
Cover Crops – If you have a difficult time finding volunteers to help with the garden, consider planting short season crops such as lettuce, radish, spinach, carrots, turnips, beets and bok choy in the spring, followed by a summer cover crop. A thick sowing of buckwheat, for example, will suppress weeds and attract beneficial insects. In the fall you can turn in the cover crop and sow short season fall crops.
Long Season Crops – Mulch well and choose crops like popcorn, winter squash and pumpkins that will need little care over the summer and do not need to be harvested in a short window of time. Put row cover over the squash and pumpkins as soon as you transplant them to protect them from pest pressure.
Schedule Volunteers – Do not attempt to take care of the garden alone this summer. Scheduling volunteers to help with maintenance will build support for your project and allow you to enjoy your vacation.
What steps does your school take to maintain their garden over vacation? We would love to see photos of your summer garden, so don’t forget to pack your camera along with your trowel!
The Maine School Garden Network announces
The 3rd Annual School Garden Open House
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Save the Date!
Plan now for an Open House event at your school garden,
in conjunction with Maine Harvest Lunch week.
Promote your Garden Project!
~ Highlight your student’s successes and achievements ~
~ Build support among your staff, parents and community ~
~ Reach out to new volunteers and donors~
Click here to get more info