Garden Chat


Help! I signed up for the community garden, thinking I could grow some corn and beans. Big winter garden dreaming.

But now I’m here at this patch and I’m in over my head.

It’s full of weeds of course, and my usual technique is to throw down some cardboard and compost and topsoil. But I don’t know that I have enough organic matter to cover 20x30. And I don’t want to buy that much. Other people are tilling, but buying a tiller seems even less appealing. (Maybe rent one?) I tried the hoe, but I’m barely scratching the surface. That might work better if the soil was damp.

Also, most people seem to have their plot fenced, is this a fools errand? Am I planting for the wildlife’s buffet if I don’t fence?

I guess all my problems here could be solved with money, buy a tiller, buy a fence, but at that point I might as well buy some farmers market popcorn and heirloom beans, right? I’m spoiled by my home garden and the raised beds.

Any one have suggestions?


Talk to other folks who are there? Might someone loan or co-rent a tiller?


Someone there might till your space for a fee. Or at least tell you their experiences with the plot if you ask.

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You can rent a tiller at Home Depot, but take a look at your soil first. Rototilling just pushes the weeds into the soil in my opinion. Does the dirt under the weeds seem okay? Friable?

I know that handweeding is a daunting project, but if you have time a couple of afternoons would clear it. Otherwise, clear the area where you want to plant and then throw down cardboard around the planted areas. (If you need more cardboard ask on BN.) Do you get straw with your plot fee? That is great to spread over the cardboard and around your plants.

The plot that we’ve had for three years, at the end of the season when we cleaned it out we spread a bale of straw over everything and it is virtually weed free this spring.

Our community gardens are in parks, and the fence is to keep random passersby out, honestly.



I went shopping at a really nice greenhouse today. The lilac was only $30 and I got to sit next to it for a couple of hours driving home. Yum. Good thing nobody was with me. Ha.


That is a huge lilac especially for that price!


I’m pretty excited! I paid about that much for some 1/3 the size a year ago.


Are you planning to keep the plot long term? And would they allow you to put down woodchips over cardboard while you try to smother the weeds? That’s what I’m going to do with the weed infested beds in my yard. I’ve got cardboard held down with containers on one section I weeded yesterday (it was mostly grasses and very dry/loose). Once I get a chip drop load I’ll move the containers off, add 4-5" of wood chips, and then put the containers back. Dig some holes to transplant perennials in the fall and see what survives over the winter.

If they allow plastic you could also solarize over the summer with a large piece of black plastic, also growing stuff on top of it in containers.


I haven’t been gardening super long and had never heard much about neonicotinoids so I just did a quick search and it seems like a lot of companies have stopped selling plants with it. I’ve never seen a tag like in the picture on any plant at my Home Depot.

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What the hell happened to my basil? The leaves were slightly yellow a couple days ago, now this.


mites? over watering? nitrogen?

yeah, just to complicate things, yellow leaves can be what plainjane said or it could also be underwatering :woman_facepalming:
I would probably try a plastic or terra cotta pot rather than the planter with some fresh soil.

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Dirt looks very dry. They love water and sun.

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I have a second one that went into a plastic pot, both got fresh soil. They were planted like a month ago. Both look like crap. :woman_shrugging:

I’ll check the soil and see if it’s dry an inch down.

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Hardening off tomatoes, peppers and herbs for the garden these days. I hope to plant everything Sunday.

X post from the Flower thread

If a critter chops the bud off a flower or eats the yummy young leaves is it probably a rabbit?

If a critter pulls a whole small plant out by the roots and leaves it there without eating it is it probably a squirrel?

What can be done about this? I can’t fence it all off and I do use repellent spray but of course it washes off in the rain and then I don’t always do it again fast enough.

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our squirrels also decapitate flower heads and leave the bloom on the ground

I had moderate success with blood meal sprinkled around, which is also a fertilizer. Small amounts of lemon oil also surprisingly helpful, but that was mostly for the raccoons.

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My mom swears by chicken poo.

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