Saturday, May 25, 2024

Beneficial Herbs

Thus begins a new season in our Historic Garden. We have available beds. The Community convenes at The Louie Bacoat Historic Community Garden on Saturdays during planting and harvesting season.

Come on out to commune and work with us. Take home free varieties of mint and Field Thistle. 

Our Garden does not have a fence. This has forced us to find different methods for
discouraging deer and other animals. The large pots at the entrance to the Garden are
planted with sedum and vinca. Deer do not like vinca. Not only do they not like it

The greenery in the immediated background of this bed is mint.
It is delicious and very fragrant. It is great for drying for tea. It is
also makes a marvelous mojito. We have 4 different kinds of mint in our Garden.

Hollyhock is a plant. The flower is used to make a medicinal tea. 
People use hollyhock for preventing and treating breathing disorders and digestive
 tract problems. Some people apply hollyhock directly to the skin for treating ulcers and painful swelling (inflammation). Hollyhocks stand as beacons for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These towering blooms serve as pit stops for these vital pollinators, offering a rich source of nectar. The presence of Hollyhocks can transform a garden into a buzzing hub of activity, underlining the plant's role in sustaining the local ecosystem.

We have loads of thistle that will be dug out and composted. Bring a pot and take home some of this beneficial and invaluable plant. 
"...Thistles are very ecologically productive,” Matt said of the plants’ role in Earth Sangha’s meadow restoration efforts. Butterfly and moth larvae, along with a host of other insect herbivores, feed on the pollen, nectar, leaves and seeds, and pollinators and other flower visitors are plentiful as well. Come fall and winter, thistle seeds are great forage for goldfinches and other seed-eating birds..."


Sunday, July 2, 2023

Gross Negligence or Stupidity?

Northern New Jersey is under possible severe weather warnings for this weekend. So why is it that this much protested against worksite has been left like this over the Holiday weekend? Why is this massive crane perched over Englewood and not over the worksite? Why was it not secured? Why was it left over the Holiday? 

Is anyone watching what is going on over there? Is anyone listening to the Residents in the area who have been complaining about construction on this site since before the work even started? 

I would not like this thing hanging about anywhere near my home. As it is, another 4th Ward Resident sent me this photo because he is concerned about his property, his family and neighbors who live in the area?

Is anyone keeping tabs on this work? Is this okay with the powers that be? Who will be held responsible for any property damage or injuries that could occur as a result of this obvious negligence?

Monday, October 5, 2020

Great Bell Peppers, Finally

The first really hard frost is due to hit the Englewood area October 29, 2020. The Summer was so very hot that it seemed the Bell Peppers were cooking on the vines. I thought I was not going to get any worthwhile fruit this season. Then it cooled off and I saw the produce in the photos below.

Today, I decided that it was time to harvest. Some of them were beginning to show signs of wear. Alas, they were never going to turn red or yellow before turning brown with rot. All in all, I think I got quite a nice harvest after watching my fruit basically seem to cook on the vine all Summer. I know that sounds crazy, but hey, there it is. Maybe it is Global warming.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Go Outside & Grow Something with Children

A beautiful and useful Teacher and Community resource for teaching Gardeners of all ages.

"...We create opportunities for kids to learn and grow through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder. KidsGardening has been a leader in the school gardening movement since 1982. We envision happier, healthier kids learning in the garden and connecting to nature. This improves nutritional attitudes and educational outcomes, enhances social and emotional learning, and gives rise to environmental stewardship in youth across the country. We inspire, support, and connect educators and families by providing garden grants and curriculum, and by cultivating a community of practice. We hope you will join us..."
Lesson Plans -
Garden Activities -
Designing a School Garden -
Books and Curricula -
Create and Sustain a Program -
Growing Guides - What will grow when and where

Gardening Basics
Hydroponics - "...Hydroponics, in its simplest form, is growing plants by supplying all necessary nutrients in the plants’ water supply rather than through the soil. Growing plants hydroponically helps gardeners and farmers grow more food more rapidly in smaller areas (greenhouses, living rooms, classrooms, and rooftops, for instance) and to produce food in parts of the world where space, good soil, and/or water are limited..."

Why Leaves Change Colors - "...Chlorophyll isn’t the only pigment contained in plant foliage, but it dominates. Other pigments, such as the yellow and orange carotenoids, are masked in most plants by the strong presence of chlorophyll. However, come autumn, as the growing season winds down, chlorophyll’s dominance wanes. The shortening days (or, more accurately, the lengthening hours of darkness) trigger plants to begin entering dormancy. One manifestation of this process is that chlorophyll begins to break down and the plant reabsorbs some of the elements it contains, such as nitrogen. No longer dominating the scene, the scarcity of chlorophyll allows the yellow and orange carotenoid pigments to take center stage and show their “true colors.”..."

Mycorrhizae & Plants - "...One of the most fascinating group of fungi — and most important to gardeners — are the root fungi, also known as mycorrhizae (my-co-RISE-ee, a term derived from the Greek words for fungus and root). Many species never show themselves above the soil surface, yet they are incredibly important to the soil ecosystem and the plant life it supports..."

Growing and Saving Heirloom Seeds "...plants that have been valued over time — for qualities such as flavor, beauty, disease resistance, or adaptability — and have been passed down through the generations are often referred to as heirloom plants. They carry with them stories of the people who grew them, enjoyed them, and saved them to pass on to their progeny.
Heirloom plants are also repositories of rich genetic diversity that is now understood to be a vital asset that we may need to call upon at any moment. Much of the world’s population has become increasingly dependent upon a relatively few food crops — and often just a handful of varieties of each of these crops. The lack of genetic diversity leaves these crops vulnerable to insect and disease outbreaks, newly evolving pests, and changing environmental conditions..."
Saving Seeds - "...Open-pollinated plants are the ones to grow if you plan to save seeds. They are the result of natural pollination mechanisms, so the seeds and the plants they produce are more diverse genetically than hybrids. Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated.  Seeds produced by open-pollinated plants will “come true” and produce plants like the parents as long as pollen of different varieties of the same species isn’t shared between parent plants..."
Photoperiodism: Can Plants Tell Time? - "...The term photoperiodism is used to describe a phenomenon in which physiological changes occur in an organism in response to day length; that is, the relative amounts of light and darkness in a 24-hour period. In some plant species, for example, the onset of flowering is triggered by day length..."
Choosing Flowers to Welcome a Diversity of Pollinators - "...When the pollen is transferred within a flower, it's called self-pollination and the offspring are genetically similar to the parent plant. Although that can be a successful survival strategy, it doesn't create the genetically diverse offspring that result from cross-pollination between two distinct parent plants. Inheriting genes from both parents results in the genetic diversity that keeps plant populations healthy and is critical if plants are to adapt over time to challenging or changing circumstances. Plants have evolved ways to lure bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, often with the promise of sugary nectar as a reward. Pollinators stop by for a sip, and then move on to other flowers, inadvertently transferring pollen. ­­­­­.."
Planting for Pollinators - "...Pollinators are animals that move pollen from one flower to another so that the plants can produce fruits and seeds. Most pollinators are insects, including bees, wasps, butterflies, flies, ants, and beetles. But some plants are pollinated by birds such as hummingbirds, and some are pollinated by bats..."
Encourage Pollinators & Beneficial Insects - "...And there is an army of tiny helpers eager to lend a hand. They are the beneficial insects, ones that behave in ways that are helpful to the crops we grow. These “good bugs” help out in a variety of ways- by hunting and eating (or using as food for their young) insects that are harmful to our crops, by parasitizing insects we consider pests, or by pollinating the fruiting plants we grow. .."
Teaching History in the Garden - "...Gardens and farms evolved throughout history as people adopted new practices and grew different crops to match needs and available resources. Due to this evolution, agricultural practices can serve as a way to define different eras by exploring their unique planting patterns. Here are a few examples of time periods you could study using a garden:..."

How the Potato Changed World History - "...This genetic uniformity set the stage for an epidemic of disastrous proportions, as the potato varieties grown showed no resistance to the blight, and entire fields were wiped out in a matter of days.  The suffering that ensued was horrific, especially in Ireland, which endured one of the deadliest famines in history in terms of the percentage of the population affected. More than one million Irish died, and around twice that number emigrated, many of them settling in the U.S..."

Starting a School Farmers' Market - "...In schools and communities across the country, students are using their campus gardens and local farm produce as fodder for business ventures.  As they plant, plan, calculate, design, and promote their produce, they grow socially, academically, and personally. Their communities, too, reap rewards..."

Create a School Garden Business - "...Creating a school garden business can be an exciting venture for students offering real-world challenges and benefits. As students work through the planning and implementation stages, they draw upon the knowledge they have learned in their classes and translate that information into practical job skills. They have opportunities to be creative, practice teamwork, and gain confidence. This lesson provides guidance for helping your students create a simple business plan..."

Botanical Classification – or, What's in a Name? - "...Using the two-part or binomial Latin name (also referred to as the scientific or botanical name) for a plant can help clear up the confusion, at least most of the time. Each specific type of plant has a unique, two (occasionally three) part name..."

Make New Houseplants with a Rooting Pot - "...Making plants from cuttings is a form of asexual propagation—one that doesn’t rely on pollination and seeds. It produces clones—new plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant from which the cuttings were taken. Taking a cutting involves removing a piece of a leaf, stem or root and placing it in a growing medium where it then develops the other parts that were left behind (i.e., a section of stem will produce roots; a root piece will produce a stem)..."

How to Plant a Tree - "...If you pull back some of the soil at the base of the tree, you'll see the tops of the main order roots spreading out at this point. You want to plant your own tree so that the base of the trunk flare (also known as the root collar) is right at the surface of the soil (or slightly above in heavy soil). The flare of the trunk on a sapling is not as noticeable as it is on a mature tree, but if you look closely, you'll see it -- that is, if it's not buried..."

Preserving the School Garden Harvest -"...By exploring preservation methods, both ancient and

modern, students can come to appreciate the climatic and survival challenges faced by people in different places and eras. Older students can examine the chemistry and economics of different types of food preservation..."

Six Easy-to-Grow Herbs - "...Herbs have many historical ties and have been used for centuries for healing, personal care, and dye making, as well as to season foods. There is a lot for students to explore about the history, use, and sensory attributes of the herbs they grow..."
Companion Planting - "...Scattering flower plants throughout the garden and/or planting a border of flowers around your vegetable garden perimeter is a great way to provide food and shelter for beneficials. Try to have something in bloom from spring planting time to fall frost. The flowers of many herbs, such as dill, caraway, and coriander, are excellent attractors, as are the flowers of vegetables like broccoli and radishes, if you let a few plants go to seed..."

Grow a Rainbow - "...Eating a diet that is high in vegetables and fruits of all kinds can help you maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure, and may reduce the risk of developing problems such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. And perhaps best of all, fruits and vegetables add delicious taste and texture to your plate. Children who are introduced to lots of a different kinds of produce at a young age are likely to make these healthful foods part of their diet into adulthood, reaping lifelong benefits..."

Getting Ready to Grow Under Lights - "...To make sure your indoor plants or seedlings get enough light to keep them growing strong, hang the bulbs so that they are just a few inches above the tops of your plants. As the plants grow, raise the level of the bulbs to keep them at the same distance above the plants. You can purchase single or multi-tiered plant light stands with easily adjustable fixtures or, if you’re handy, you can rig up a system to raise and lower your light fixtures..."

The Winter Bird-Friendly Schoolyard
Create Overwintering Habitat with an “Untidy” Garden

Indoor Gardening
Choosing What to Grow: Vegetables & Herbs
When to Plant Seeds
Indoor Seed Starting Q&A
All the Dirt on Soil
Preparing the Soil
Transplanting & Direct Seeding
Plants for Pre-K Gardens

Dealing with Garden Pests & Diseases
Garden Maintenance
Wise Watering
Safe Harvesting
Safe Gardening Guidelines
Maintaining a School Garden in Summer

Plan for a Back-to-School Harvest
Extend the Season with Plant Cover-ups
Put Your School Garden to Bed
Grow Milkweed to Help Monarch Butterflies
Worm Composting

What Is Companion Planting?

Garden Members, even if you did not plan it that way, you are involved in a companion planting activity.
                 Raised bed gardening is "Companion Planting"

1. How many days from planting to germination? This varies from plant to plant and the information is on the back of the seed packet. If you have purchased young plants, google it. Some plants may be planted in succession throughout the summer as long as you do the Math and allow enough days before frost. 

2. Make sure that you are being realistic in your planting choices.
a. How many days to you have from planting to harvest?
b. Is there enough time for the plants to produce before frost?c. How tall will the plant grow?
d. How much space will each plant require?e. Is it too late in the season to plant cold crop vegetables like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, etc.?  According to the Farmer's Almanac, this planting season has 201 days. The season started April 10, 2019 and frost is expected October 29, 2019. The Almanac is generally on target with the frost dates.
3. How much space does a watermelon require to produce? How many days from planting to harvest? (Watermelons need at least 80-100 consecutive days of very warm summer temperatures, at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit.) If you have 1 or more watermelon plants in 2 square feet, you are not being realistic. The same goes for cucumbers, squash/zucchini, cantaloupes, pumpkins. These plants grow on runners and require a lot of space
4. Are you planting tomatoes in with cucumbers? Have you read up on the care and culture of strawberries? Do remove any weeds growing outside of your box. Do participate in helping to spread the wood chips and mulch throughout the garden. Do use the garbage receptacles provided in the garden. The blue is for recyclables, not plant refuse. Do pick up and discard any garbage dropped by passersby and put in the recycling bin. Do help us keep the entire area clean and groomed.
Do remember that when the gray cans are filled, they must be placed on the curb in the 50 feet of space where motorists are not allowed to park near the stop sign on the corner of Lafayette Place and Genesee Ave.

DPW will pick up the Garden debris on Fridays unless they are called for "Special Pickup". DPW Workers will not enter the Garden to remove the garbage bins.

The Garden is under 24 hour camera surveillance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mother Nature's Calendar

The one calendar that man has no control over is the one that governs gardening.
The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts that in the 07631 growing area we gardeners have
201 days in the growing season.

The last Spring Frost has been predicted as April 9, 2018 and the first Fall Frost is predicted
on October 29, 2018.  That gives us 201 days of growing time if we are lucky. It does seem
that there will be little time to grow cold crop in this region as we will surely have a very short spring.

Garden Tasks by the Month: 2018 Growing Season










Community Garden Members: Please remember that your bed must be cleared, turned and planted by June 15, 2018.

We are looking for volunteers to help maintain the "Teaching Garden".
We also need Volunteers to help during Outdoor Classroom Activities.