Sunday, May 2, 2010

Your questions answered...

Hola Victory Gardeners!!

Hope everyone has continued to be excited about growing your own! Below are your various questions answered.

W.O. asked...

...someone mentioned at today's class about free straw at the San Pasqual stables, but I wanted to be sure I heard that correctly before I venture over there with an empty wheelbarrow and pitch fork :).

I'm not positive if they give free straw out, however, I'm sure they will be happy to see you remove as much manure with straw in it as possible. Don't forget to take your own shovels and recycled plastic bags.

Here's a link to their address:

K.B. asked...
I'm also looking forward to the list of gardening applications...

For those of us that have i-phones, they have developed some handy applications for us edible gardeners!! I haven't had the chance to play with any of them, however, these are a few that have been recommended to me from other gardeners.
Botanical Interests
iGarden USA
Garden Tracker
Pocket Garden

B.C.G. asked...
Please email the list of plants that are safe for children.

I work with hundreds of infants and toddlers and they seem to really enjoy sowing seeds, watering, and simply watching the ladybugs travel through a forest of carrot tops!

Here's a few:
Society Garlic
Rosemary (Attracts bees, be extra careful to place in an area away from small children)
Lavendar (Attracts bees, be extra careful to place in an area away from small children)
Spearmint or Mint (Very invasive, be sure to plant these in pots)
Ruby Red Lettuce

M.N. & C.N. asked...
Also, is there a Facebook group that we can start so that people can post up questions, etc and photos from their plots? :)

We already have a Common Ground Garden Program Facebook page, do you guys want to develop a separate Victory Gardener's Milagro Allegro Facebook page ?!/pages/Common-Ground-Garden-Program-UC-Cooperative-Extension-Los-Angeles-County/124160624772?ref=ts

Remember you could also post your comments and photos on the Victory Garden blog:

M.N. & C.N. asked...
And finally, last question (sorry, so many questions), what's your take on the borage plant? We found a lot of info on it.

I love borage! Did you know that they use to make candy out of the flowers. It also attracts lots of bees, so its a great pollinator. Use it as a companion plant, it is said that if planted near tomatoes it will improve their taste and also their growth. They also repel hornworms. We currently have borage gowing near all the tomatoes :)

J.L. asked...
I noticed that all my seeds have begun to sprout, which is very exciting. But I don't have much space at my apartment for gardening outdoors, and the balcony gets very poor sunlight. Should I transplant my seedlings to containers instead? Would they grow indoors until they got bigger? I have spinach, swiss chard, basil, and tomato seedlings. Also, I have not transplanted the transplants anywhere, but they are all doing well- I have lemon balm, rue, and tomato. The seedlings did really well by a window where I have put them, but I know they will get bigger and have to be relocated at some point.

That's awesome! (It was also really nice seeing you in town :) Have your seedlings developed their first true leaves? If so, transplant them into larger containers and have them continue to sit on your sunny window. You'll be astonish on how well they will do and how early you'll be able to harvest. Remember, chard, spinach, basil, lemon balm, and rue are happy to give you a few of their leaves when they are still young :) Tomatoes will eventually need a home. Have you thought about applying to a community plot or doing a yardshare?

For those of you that don't have enough sunlight or land to grow on, check out this awesome program that was put together by L.A. Community Garden Council: (I have a yard share with a great loving family and I'm very grateful for the extra land.)

K.B. wrote:
Just wanted to follow up on a few questions that were nagging at my brain from class:

C.C.A. asked about leaving leaves pulled off plants in the garden as mulch: Good? Bad? and as a follow up I asked--What defines mulch?

Rodale's All New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening says "Organic mulches include formerly living material such as wood chips, shredded bark, chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, etc.."
and advises that one of the best ways to keep your garden disease and pest free is to keep it tidy (remove damaged dead or diseased leaves and plants)

Also, from my training as a natural builder, I know that straw, bark, and dry grass clippings contain little nutrient value for insects and a higher level of celulose and silica which they don't like while they are drawn to hay (which is more leaf than stem and has a higher nutrient value)

What can we do generally to treat polluted soil?
In the Toolbox for Sustainable City Living they say that the best thing we can do to clean up soil is ADD COMPOST! Yep, they say that the little buggers that generally make compost so awesome love to eat all that nasty stuff that we don't want to eat ourselves and recommend that urban superfund sites become urban compost facilities. Hmmm? Sounds like a good start, but I want more details.



Great questions everyone and thank you K. for the info. and your research! Keep them coming and also send over some photos to share with everyone. I'll be posting several photos of our garden soon.

Also, regarding worm or compost tea. Who is still interested in a batch? I'll be preparing a huge batch this weekend. I'll be happy to meet you guys at the community garden for pick-up!!

Keep growing and loving your veggies,

milli macen-moore


Kristy B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristy B said...

re:Borage. I love borage! In my garden I really try to get as many brids and bees in. I planted 2 borage last year and let them self seed at the end of the season. I've been trimming the greens all spring to eat steamed like spinach and help kick up the nitrogen in my compost.

Another great plant I have started this year is Amaranth. Good for bees and leaves make great steamed greens.

peaceful petal said...

Hey Kristy :)

That is so cool, I wasn't aware we could eat Borage leaves too! Very cool, going to try some this evening! mmmm, love me some Deep Red Amaranth! I appreciate the deep red color in the garden and the nutrition I also receive from it :)

Anyone need extra acclimated deep red amaranth? I have plenty of seeds to share :)