FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About the garden...
I’ve never gardened before. Can I still get a plot? Is there anyone to help me?
Yes! The 3-ft-square plots are a good size to learn whether this is something you and/or your family will enjoy. Start with a list of some vegetables you like, and then get one or two plots. Attend our free workshops and go online to get information. We believe you will have a great time and benefit from your efforts!
When can I work in the garden?
The garden is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. , with the exception of Sundays when it will be available from 1-6 p.m.
Will water be available?
Yes. Within the next few weeks, rain "catchers" will be put in and Blessed Hope will be providing water as well. You will need a watering can or clean gallon milk jugs to move the water from the storage area to your plot.
What gardening tools will I need? Will any be available?
Most gardening can be done with some basic tools, according to HGTV:
"Hand Rake: This is the little three-pronged tool that looks like a set of shiny claws. It’s useful for loosening and turning soil. Stainless-steel or aluminum is a good material choice as it resists rust.
Trowel: This is the pointy-ended little shovel you’ll use for breaking up dirt and digging holes. Look for sturdy, one-piece construction and a comfortable handle. Remember, you’ll be using a lot of force to dig, so a comfy handle is important!
Shovel: What’s the difference between a shovel and a spade? Some people chalk it up to semantics, but by definition shovels have wider, flatter blades meant for lifting and moving heavy things like gravel and dirt. Spades, with angled and pointed blades, are best for breaking up dirt and digging. You’ll probably want one of each, though the type you need will vary depending on your needs. Ask your nursery employee for advice.
Shears: It may seem counter-intuitive, but making things grow requires a lot of cutting: pruning back overgrowth, removing dead flowers (deadheading), edging shrubs, just for starters. It’s a good idea to invest in several pairs: small shears for cutting small stalks and other fine details; larger ones for cutting branches and other heavy-duty jobs. In any case, try several pair before you buy and choose one that feels comfortable and quality. The right shears can make a big difference in how you enjoy tending your garden!"
A couple of shovels and spades will be available. Gloves are also a handy thing to have and are available at most discount stores.
I’m not interested in the harvest, but I would like to garden a plot. What could I do with the harvest?
The Food Pantry at Blessed Hope is grateful for any fresh produce donations. Seeds may be available if your plan is to donate what you grow. See Pastor Crystal at the April 25th workshop or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is better – seeds or plants? Are there free seeds?
A free package of seeds will be available at the first workshop on April 25th. Many discount stores have inexpensive seeds and even plants. At the workshop, you can learn how to start your seeds indoors and get a jump on the growing season. You will have some hands-on experience there as well. Plants are usually ready to harvest sooner than seeds. However, both are acceptable and very successful to provide food!
How much should I water my garden?
"In order to give your plants the water they need and at the same time make the most of the water we have available, consider these tips:
* Add mulch around your plants to decrease by 2/3 the amount of water (and number of times!) needed.
* Avoid watering in the heat of the day (10am - 4pm). Most water added at this time will simply evaporate, especially if you have no mulch. Water early in the morning or early evening. (Late night watering can cause mold growth and encourages slugs, so also avoid that time if possible.)
* Water only around the plant - concentrate your water directly around the plant as this is where the roots are. A small depression around your plant will funnel the water where it is needed. (Pastor Crystal: "Personally, I water with a small sour cream container right at the plant stem to concentrate the water.")
* Water deeply and less often. For our soils and a depth of 6 inches, a square foot of plants will need on average 4 cups of water 2x per week."
(From Creston Community Gardens.org)
What do I do with what I grow?
Besides eating the food fresh, you can also blanch and freeze or can most of your harvest. Various workshops will be held during the summer to help you with ideas and know-how!
What are some good resources for beginner gardeners?
www.gardening.org (The website of the National Gardening Association) Check out Vegetable Gardening 101
www.hgtv.com This familiar website has lots of tips for gardeners.
www.kgi.org (Kitchen Gardens International has a great article called Kitchen Gardening 101.)
www.getinthegarden.com (This is another helpful website!)
Don’t forget https://www.facebook.com/lpgardensatblessedhope?ref=bookmarks The Gardens’ Facebook page often posts articles that help you plan and work your garden!