Tips for Watering Community Gardens

This year, the City of Columbia is raising water rates during the summer months to encourage water conservation. This may impact community gardens to a great extent. The Community Garden Coalition and others have worked with the City to successfully create an exemption to protect some community gardens from the highest water rate tier.

Regardless, we all want to make the best use of the water we use and not waste it. Following are some tips for efficient and effective use of water.

  1. Most plants need about an inch of water a week. In very hot and windy weather, they may need two inches of water in a week. Raised beds will need more water than regular garden plots. 
  2. It is best for the plants to water deeply once or twice a week. This will encourage the roots to move deeper into the ground and will make more efficient use of the water in the soil. When you are starting seeds, it will be necessary to keep the soil moist, so you may need to apply water more than once a week until the plants are established.
  3. Many of our soils in central Missouri are high in clay content. Adding organic matter will benefit plants and also increase the water holding capacity, making better use of water. Compost is one of the best ways to add organic matter.
  4. Applying water to the base of plants will make the best use of water. Ideally soaker hoses or drip irrigation is the most efficient, but that is not practical in most of our community gardens. Directing water to the base of plants will help in water conservation. It will also keep water off the leaves of plants and reduce the chances of diseases.
  5. Watering in the morning is better than watering in the evening as leaves of plants will have a chance to dry off during the day and will reduce disease development.
  6. Mulching plants will help conserve water. Leaves and grass clippings and straw make good mulch and can be turned into the soil in the fall to improve organic matter. The Community Garden Coalition provides some straw during the season. (Ask your garden leader if you don’t know how to obtain straw.)
  7. To make watering easier, group plants that require the most water together. These include lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. Group plants that require less water together. These include beans and corn.

At some gardens, there have been times where water was left on all night, soaking the garden plot and running onto other plots. This is very wasteful and we hope you will make an effort to see that this doesn’t happen at your garden. If you find water left on and unattended, it’s best to turn it off.

Water is essential for plant growth. The CGC and garden leaders want you to be successful in growing your garden and encourage you to use the amount of water needed for plant growth. Following proper watering techniques will result in the best plant growth and production.

Prepared by guest contributor Don Day with assistance from members of the Community Garden Coalition board of directors. Don is a garden leader of the Broadway Christian Church Community Garden

Warm Season Plants Still Available May 12

It’s time to plant all those delicious heat-loving veggies like tomatoes, peppers sweet potatoes and eggplant! For community gardeners, the CGC’s plant and seed distribution continues Sunday, May 12, so make some time to come by and get what you need to fill out your garden and fill up your plates this summer.

ripe eggplant on its plant

Sunday, May 12
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Claudell Lane Garden
711 Claudell Lane

Plants are free to member gardeners, but we welcome donations of 50¢/plant to help offset the cost. Row cover and hoops will be available for sale. Plus, we still have lots of seeds to offer you for various vegetables and herbs!


ESPAÑOL

Jardineros/as: Tendremos una distribución de plantas para la temporada cálida el domingo 12 de mayo de 10-12. Las plantas estarán disponibles por una donación de 50 centavos cada una en el Jardín de Claudell. Tendremos tomates, pimientos, berenjenas y camote.

Warm Season Plants for Community Gardeners This Weekend

It’s time to plant all those delicious heat-loving veggies like tomatoes, peppers sweet potatoes and eggplant! For community gardeners, the CGC will host a plant and seed distribution this weekend, so make some time to come by and get what you need to fill out your garden and fill up your plates this summer.

ripe eggplant on its plantSaturday, May 11
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, May 12
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Claudell Lane Garden
711 Claudell Lane

Plants are free to member gardeners, but we welcome donations of 50¢/plant to help offset the cost. Row cover will be available for sale. Plus, we still have lots of seeds to offer you for various vegetables and herbs!


ESPAÑOL

Jardineros/as: Tendremos una distribución de plantas para la temporada cálida el sábado 11 de mayo de 10-2 y el domingo 12 de mayo de 10-12. Las plantas estarán disponibles por una donación de 50 centavos cada una en el Jardín de Claudell. Tendremos tomates, pimientos, berenjenas y camote. Si necesita semillas, estas estarán disponibles los mismos días a la misma hora, o puede contactar a Mira a su email: mirabai911@hotmail.com.

Cool Season Plant Distribution 

TOMORROW: Saturday, April 6, 10 am – 2 pm

Claudell Community Garden (711 Claudell Ln.)

head of broccoli in the gardenSuggested donation of 50¢ per plant. There is a limited supply of plants and when they’re gone, they’re gone, so we suggest you arrive as early as you can for the best selection!
Cool season plants will include broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, lettuce, chard, and kale. There will also be row cover and hoops available for purchase for 25 cents/row cover foot and 25 cents/hoop. And, we have bales of straw for mulching at member gardens (suggested donation of $3).
Also, please understand that this distribution is intended for community garden members only. While others will not be turned away, sending plants with non-member gardeners means less for members, and they are our primary responsibility.

Spring Gardening Workshop March 9

Each Saturday morning, the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and community partners will be offering workshops for beginning gardeners at Parkade Center (the temporary home of the Farmers Market).* You can check out “Planning & Planting a Spring Garden” next Saturday, March 9 at 9 a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m.

See details and a full list of workshops here.

*Please note the location has been updated from the original posting.

Help Still Needed for Seed Packing Party

Our Seed Packing Party is being rescheduled to Feb. 21 due to weather!!!
We still need volunteers to help us prepare seeds for distribution to participating gardeners this spring. We’re gathering Thursday, February 21, 5:30 p.m. at Centro Latino (609 N. Garth Ave., Columbia).

In exchange for helping us repack bulk seed into smaller quantities, the CGC will feed you dinner! But you must RSVP to kathy@comogardens.org by Feb. 19 (tomorrow!). We’ll have limited meals available, so please RSVP!

Volunteers Needed, RSVP Today!

seed packetsCan you help us out Feb. 19?

We need a few more volunteers to help us prepare seeds for distribution to participating gardeners this spring. We’re gathering Tuesday, February 19, 5:30 p.m. at Centro Latino (609 N. Garth Ave., Columbia).

In exchange for helping us repack bulk seed into smaller quantities, the CGC will feed you dinner! But you must RSVP to kathy@comogardens.org by Feb. 12 (tomorrow!) Friday, February 15. We’ll have limited meals available, so please RSVP!