How does your garden grow?
The soil was tilled, the fertilizer added, the seeds planted (some in paper cups), the stakes put in and the watering began. Much to the gardener’s delight Raleigh has had 9.5” of rain since March! Today, the gardeners are beginning to pick their cucumbers, zucchini and peppers.
When the garden idea first began, Springmoor had thirty truckloads of dirt brought in. Twenty-six plots were created for individual resident’s gardens. Today, you will find twenty-two residents working early in the morning or late in the afternoon pulling weeds, watering or harvesting their fresh vegetables. Some share a space with a friend. Some share a space with a spouse. And one resident enjoys his time in the garden with his dog, Beau. A happy pair the two of them make when the sun is shining and the humidity is low.
In the gardens you will find a large variety of vegetables. This year you will see everything from tomatoes, peppers, squash, and zucchini, to corn, okra, watermelon, peas and cucumbers. There are a few herbs such as dill, cilantro and basil that will add a little flavor to the resident’s summer menu. The flowers are abundant too! It’s not hard to see the colorful sunflowers, marigolds, gladiolas, daylilies and impatiens. Each week, when the zinnias are blooming, the residents will bring a vase filled with these bright flowers to the business office. What a lovely display they make for our administrative offices! Asked what gardening tips they can share for a successful season, one resident replied, “having a partner is my secret but don’t tell anyone because I might have to share her!” Her garden expert’s name will remain a mystery to all of us. Another couple, still on our waiting-list, has started a garden this year too. They come three or four days a week to take an exercise class and then head out to their garden to tend to their vegetables.
Thom Morgan, our Landscape Director is responsible for getting thing started each season. This year he had several tall pines removed to provide more sunshine for everyone. With a good base of soil, he now only needs to till the garden plots, test for acid and the alkaline pH. For the gardens that are left open, he sews in a red top clover to provide nitrogen to the soil when it is tilled. He tells us this is called “laying fallow and it allows the soil to rest, so to speak.” The bluebird boxes are full which means the gardens are getting help with insect removal from the bluebird parents that are feeding their young.
Thanks to the birds and the rain, a few gardening tips from Thom, and a little sunshine and sweat our gardens are beginning to produce a very healthy crop this spring. Stop by and say hello to Beau and meet a new neighbor when you walk by. Located between the North Village and the South Village, the gardens provide a perfect spot to don your wide brimmed hat, gardening gloves and play in the dirt!