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Community Garden Season Opens

Diggin' It: Diane's Community Garden

As we say good-bye to winter’s dreary grip, I am happy to pick up trowel and rake and pitch in as Greenwich Community Gardens in southwest Connecticut launches its 2019 season. My name is Diane Tunick Morello, intrepid blogger and second-year community gardener. My plot sits in the Bible Street arm of Greenwich Community Gardens, tucked into the back woods of Cos Cob, CT. Nearly one hundred plots, each 4x8 feet, stretch across an enclosed garden surrounded by tall trees, woods and fens and populated with deer, foxes and wild turkeys. All the plots are occupied this year, good news for community spirit and for the growing interest in sustainable gardening.

Opening Day Takes Off

Opening day dawns sunny and cool, and I am itching to get into the garden. Both I and my husband, PJ, sign in and immediately get dispatched to one of the three dozen projects for opening day. Our job is to assemble a big storage bin for tarps, netting and harvest covers. We wrestle the components out of an unwieldy carton and lay out the pieces. Another community gardener, Zach, arrives to lend a hand, and I gladly move on to other jobs.

Clockwise from top left: Bible Street Community Garden opens, Terri leads us through composting 101 for the new season, grandniece Ceci smiles (sorta) as she rakes, gardeners start cleaning up

I grab a rake and clear out leaves, load a wheelbarrow with wood chips, grab a shovel to spread soil, and take a 30-minute composting training, including a new cold compost system. Opening day 2019 attracts a greater number of people than in previous years, and by the end of the day, we collectively -- gardeners, spouses, children -- manage to clear out months of winter debris, repair the surrounding enclosure, and reinvigorate the garden. We are ready to start planting.

Greeting New and Familiar Gardeners

I introduce myself to new gardeners, reacquaint myself with people I met last year and exchange ideas for this blog you are reading. We exchange greetings, laughing as we try to identify each other beneath the opening day disguise of baseball cap, sunglasses and work gloves.

We mosey past fellow gardeners' plots. A visitor to my plot suggests I may have planted my seedlings too early. I fear she may be right. The next morning the temperature is 35 degrees. Yikes! Fortunately, the temperature is warming steadily and within ten days, the ground will be warm enough to host seedlings of cucumbers, beans and peppers.

Final Thoughts

Assuming the weather holds out, assuming the rain moderates, assuming the chipmunks don’t beat us, we’ll start to see our vegetables, herbs and flowers growing within four to six weeks. I am eager to taste arugula, cucumber, beets, beans and red peppers, not to mention tomatoes and more tomatoes.

-- Your intrepid blogger, Diane Tunick Morello

  • Tell me what you are doing, learning or discovering in your vegetable garden. Join the conversation.
  • Are you a newbie beginner in community gardening? Check out my 2018 blogs about first-year community gardening.
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