** Garden assignments and a map are posted on the south shed **
1)Waterwill be turned on by the City the week before the May long weekend - so theweek of May 15th! Wow - so early!!
2)"Gardeners Walkabouts"will be held onWed May 10th 6:30 pmand Sunday May 14th at 2pm. These are intended as tours for new gardeners to share all the information about Grow Regina, help finding your plot, etc., but of course all are welcome.
3) It is wonderful to see garden plots being cleared and dug. Just a reminder that there isNO garbage pick up for the gardens. Please take your own garbage and compost home to deal with. Emterra green bins (for compostable waste) will be installed later in May / June. If you are interested in joining the Grow Regina compost committee, please contact Susanne email@example.com- ONLY compost committee members may add to the N end compost bins. Please do NOT leave any garbage or garden wastes at any of the sheds- thank you!
4) Dandelions are here! Please remember that you are responsible tokeep your pathsas well as your gardens clean of weeds. From the edge of your plot, out to the middle of the path (unless you have no garden neighbour on the other side of your path -- then please do the whole width of the path.) Thanks for your help in keeping our paths lovely and clean. (More crusher dust for the paths will be coming later in the season.) 5) Anyone who feels like coming out to dig some dandelions from the common paths at the front of the garden, I'm going to start in the Accessible (raised beds) garden area (Queen Street edge of garden), at3pm on Sunday May 14thjust after the walkabout. See you there - bring your favorite weed digging tool!(Hey, we all celebrate Mother's Day in our own way :) More emails to come -- Flower bed committee will be meeting, as well as the 10th Anniversary planning committee - stay tuned! - Yvette for Grow Regina Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/grow.regina
Grow Regina would like to thank Joy Kress of Pharos Business & Taxation for her wonderful assistance as our volunteer book-keeper over the past two years. Please consider Joy and Pharos for your taxation and business-related needs! http://pharosinc.com/ Telephone: 306-790-8366
Grow Regina would also like to thank Emterra Environmental for their composting services to our gardens last season and for the upcoming season. Please consider Emterra for your home or business composting services.
Community gardening is a wonderful way to bring communities together, make new friends, and learn new skills. However there are also an abundance of important health benefits of getting involved in community gardening. Community gardens can play a vital role in sustaining the nutritional needs of those individuals involved in them, which in turn can help to battle illness and disease. Here are just some of the healthy benefits that can be reaped from community gardening:
Nutritional Benefits Community gardening can help to ensure that you are eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables at the lowest possible cost. In recent years the cost of fresh food has risen considerably, make it out of the reach of the budgets of many. However when you are growing your own fruits and vegetables you will have an abundant supply to ensure your table always contains fresh produce for the lowest possible price. Being involved in a community garden is also a wonderful way to educate yourself about the nutritional benefits of ensuring you are eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis: this can be particularly helpful if you have young children and would like to involve them in the process of growing their own food and understanding where fresh foods come from. There are many members of our community that have very limited nutritional education, and struggle to ensure that they are eating a healthy and balanced diet on a daily basis. Those individuals from a lower socioeconomic demographic, those who have struggled with eating disorders such an anorexia or bulimia, or those who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction generally simply do not know what they should or shouldn’t be eating, or how much fresh produce they should aim to ingest on a daily basis. However good nutrition is massively important for these groups in particular, and by ensuring that nutritional education and the ability to grow their own fresh produce is available to everyone, community gardening ensures brighter and healthier futures for our communities. Benefits for Physical Health Gardening is a great work out, and is often recommended as a wonderful form of moderate exercise no matter what your fitness levels. The great thing about gardening is that anyone can do it: regardless of your age or your ability, anyone can benefit from getting out in the fresh air and growing their own produce. Gardening can help you to build up your muscle strength and burn calories, contributing to the enhancement of your physical fitness and increasing your overall health. Gardening involves a great deal of stretching, thanks to the bending and lifting involved in planting, weeding, and raking, which can improve your levels of flexibility. However unlike other low impact forms of exercise (for example jogging or joining an aerobics class) gardening doesn’t involve any jarring or stress on the body that can be detrimental if you are new to exercise, feeling the effects of aging, or suffer from any long term health condition that can make strenuous exercise difficult. The Mental Health Benefits Gardening can have a hugely positive impact on mental health: simply being outside in the fresh air can be enriching and research has found that the simple act of gardening can increase both an individual’s brain activity and endorphin levels. In fact, gardening can be so beneficial for mental health that those working in the field have developed horticultural therapy as a means of harnessing the positive mental health benefits to be gained from gardening and using them to treat hospital patients and even calm those individuals who are incarcerated. Many hospitals and rehabilitation facilities now contain ‘healing gardens’, where residents can walk and enjoy being surrounded by nature. If you are feeling stressed or anxious by your day to day life then gardening can help to relieve this anxiety by both calming you down and providing a welcome distraction: something else to focus your mind on. After all, no matter how hard you work on a garden, there is always weeding to be done! The health benefits of community gardening are so wide reaching and all-encompassing that it’s clear to see why so many community gardens, such as our own, are so oversubscribed with long waiting lists of individuals keen to reap these health benefits for themselves.
We may have heard the advice jokingly given by parents to children who are pulling garden weeds for the first time: if it looks healthy and it’s growing vigorously, pull it out. But there is some truth in this; at least a few of us have probably looked over our gardens at some point this summer and thought to ourselves that the weeds were the only thing growing! Because they grow so well, they can so quickly overrun a garden, stealing nutrients from the soil and spreading seeds that will turn into next year’s weeds. Identifying them and distinguishing them from garden plants can be tricky, especially for beginners (and this author will humbly admit that last year as a new gardener she couldn’t tell a parsnip from a pigweed). Here is a list of some common weeds that I have found in my garden this year, separated by their two basic types, broadleaf and grassy, along with some resources that have helped me to identify weeds with more confidence and can help you as well.
Broadleaf Weeds Broadleaf Plantain (also called common plantain): This is one of the most common weeds in the garden. It has broad, bright green, crimpled, oval leaves in a circular pattern very close to the ground. It will eventually flower, so be sure to pull it before this happens and to remove the entire root system. Buckhorn Plantain (also called English plantain and ribwort plantain): This weed’s bright green leaves are long and narrow, wider in the middle than on the ends, with deep veins. Like its close relative the broadleaf plantain, the leaves grow in a circular pattern. Left alone it will grow flower stalks that spread its seeds, so it is best pulled while it’s still young. For those who need help to identify weeds common to Saskatchewan, please refer to photos below of every weed in the garden plus a few tree and shrub seedlings (ie manchurian elm and rosehip) that cause as much problems as weeds.
Canadian Thistle: Also very common, this weed has lobed, dark green leaves with spikes along the edges. The leaves are directly attached to the stem and grow in a circular pattern. Left unchecked, it will flower and spread thousands of seeds, so be sure to remove it right away. Cutting it from the stem several times over the summer can keep it from growing too vigorously. If you remove the whole plant, be sure to get as much of the root system as you can as it can spread from its roots. Shading can help prevent its growth.
Common Chickweed: Common chickweed has small, light green, oval leaves and stems with fine hair along one side. It often grows low to the ground, and has white flowers with five lobed petals. Early weeding of chickweed can help control it.
Groundsel: Groundsel bears a close resemblance to the dandelion, with lobed, dark green leaves that grow directly from the stem and bright yellow flowers mostly hidden by a specialized leaf called a bract. These weeds can act as a host for harmful fungus, so they should be removed as soon as you see them.
Prickly Lettuce: This weed is actually closely related to cultivated lettuce. Its leaves bear a close resemblance to the leaves of the Canadian Thistle, with lobed leaves that grow in a circular pattern. One way to tell the difference between the two is to examine the midrib (the main vein of the leaf). Prickly lettuce has very thin, sharp spines along the midrib, while the Canadian thistle doesn’t. Prickly lettuce also has a whitish, milky sap. It is easy to control and doesn’t do too much damage to a vegetable garden.
Purslane: Purslane has distinct red stems and small, thick, oval leaves; it grows very close to the ground, almost lying flat. It can be easily pulled up by hand, and after it is picked, it can be washed and tossed in a salad or cooked in a stir-fry; the leaves, stems, and flower buds are edible.
Grassy Weeds Barnyard Grass: This grass has several stems that branch out from the base and long, thin leaves and spikes of green flowers; it starts out low to the ground and eventually grows taller. Barnyard grass steals nitrogen from the soil and should be quickly removed.
Quack grass: This pesky weed has long, straight stems that usually grow from one to four feet tall with long, thin leaves and tall spikes of flowers that look similar to wheat heads. Quack grass may inhibit the growth of nearby plants, so it is important to remove it right away. Removing it entirely can take years and requires careful strategy. Submitted by Jennifer Bobowski
Please remember the use of herbicides is prohibited by Grow Regina and the City of Regina in McLeod Park community garden.
The recommended weed control in our community garden is pulling. Most young weeds can be pulled from the soil. They will slide out most easily if you pull them when the soil is wet. Getting the root up is crucial, so think of the main stem as the root’s handle, and grasp it as close to the soil line as you can. If you find that the weeds are breaking off at the crown as you pull, slip a kitchen fork, dandelion weeder, or similar tool under the weed, and pry and twist as you pull it up. Weeds that have taproots, such as dandelion and plantain, usually must be pried out. A flexible pair of waterproof gloves will keep your hands comfortable as you weed, and it’s good to have a nice sitting pad, too. Let pulled weeds bake in the sun for a day or so before composting them. If pulled weeds are holding mature seeds, compost them separately in a hot, moist pile before using this compost in the garden.
A weed library featuring photos of common garden weeds and tips for removal: http://garden.org/Weed Library The Regina Public Library also has numerous books on weeds and weed removal; just search the catalogue using the subject keyword “weeds” to get a list of titles and call numbers.
In our orchards, you will notice several very small plants that have just been transplanted this spring. Please avoid harvesting any leaves from these plants. Newly set plants need all their foliage to build a strong root system. Other healthier sized plants are ready for harvesting from June until August, but to keep the plants healthy, vigorous and producing well, remove only about one-third of the leaves from a plant at any one time. Remember, the leaf blades contain large amounts of oxalic acid and should not be eaten. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb Orchard Committee