David

Just how much rain have we received already this spring? What a difference a year makes. The first three weeks of April this year have seen 121 mm of rain already as compared to 44 mm for the whole month of April last year.

I know the weather is changing and it is so tempting to get out and start planting. If your garden is on a slope or if you have sandy loam or raised boxes it may well be ready for you to get out and start planting. However many gardens are still far too wet to work – the soil structure can be very adversely affected when it is compacted at this stage. In order to determine if soil is workable, take a handful and squeeze – if it stays together in a ball it is still too wet, if it crumbles it is ready. Also if it clings to your boots and shovel in great clumps or if your footprints remain visible after you walk across the lawn or garden wait a few more days.

The Power of the Hoop!

Radishes planted March 17 in our Hoop House (basically an unheated greenhouse) were ready to harvest on Friday April 21!

The Youth Centre Changes Pavement to Paradise!

A dozen or so enthusiastic volunteers got together on Saturday at the new Mississippi Mills Youth Centre, 134 Main Street in Almonte (the former Mac’s Milk right beside Milano’s Pizza). We built five garden boxes out of rough-cut cedar and placed them in front of the Youth Centre and there was pizza involved at lunchtime! (The pizza guy got right into the project!) 

There was some urgency to get the project finished as the Youth Centre will be hosting the launch of the fourth annual Great Veggie Grow-off here on May 1st!

The garden boxes will produce fresh veggies for the participants in the Youth Centre programs as they learn about growing and harvesting veggies. Any surplus veggies will be donated to our local food bank – the Hunger Stop. The garden is a joint project of the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre and the Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardening Program. We are grateful to the Town of Mississippi Mills for providing funding for this project.

The next stages of the project will include a picnic table, a shade structure and some trellises so we can convert this ‘cast-off of our urban car culture’ into an urban oasis.

We need to bail!

Seriously, the water is so high that bailing buckets might be in order! The garden project at the community garden in Carleton Place has had to be postponed a couple of weeks due to our very wet spring. Here’s an opportunity for Mississippi Mills gardeners to extend a helping hand (and shovel) to our neighbours in Carleton Place. A major project to rejuvenate the community garden next to St. Gregory School on Townline Road in Carleton Place is being spearheaded by the Lanark County Food Bank (aka the Hunger Stop) in collaboration with existing gardeners at the site and in consultation with local Master Gardeners. It is being funded by a grant from Sysco Food and is supported by several local businesses. Circle the dates Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14. Construction will be in full swing starting at 9 in the morning and going until dark (or until we drop). Come for an hour or two or for all day. Bring your wheelbarrows, shovels and rakes!

Higher and Drier!

The folks in Almonte are fortunate in being able to get an earlier start. Circle the date Saturday May 6 – this is the day for a work party to get the Neighbourhood Tomato gardens in Almonte ready for the growing season – both the Augusta Park Community Garden as well as the vegetable plots behind the Almonte Library. No need to register – just show up in your gardening attire anytime after nine in the morning!