This program provides education to the local gardeners about soil and nutrient management in their gardens. The speaker will talk about function and composition of soil, and soil organic matter. The standard procedure for soil sampling will be discussed in the meeting. There will be discussion about essential plant nutrients, soil test report interpretation and fertilizer application.
Interested participants need to register online or call to Boone County Extension Center at (573) 445-9792.
Learn about square-foot gardening and DIY rain barrels at this demonstration event. Square-foot gardening is a popular method of growing an intensive vegetable garden in less space. It is also very water and resource-efficient. Visit a working square-foot garden and discuss how to fit in all your favorite veggies. Gary Carter of Friendship garden will also discuss how he sourced and installed the DIY rain barrels that help gardeners water there.
Participants will get a free space-saving heirloom tomato seedling!
This event is part of our celebrations of our 40th Anniversary! More events will be announced soon!
It’s the 40th year for the Community Garden Coalition, and to celebrate we’re organizing some public workshops on various gardening topics all season long! Please note that as our plans have come into focus, our small space gardening workshop events have changed from their original dates. There will no longer be a workshop on April 8 or May 13 as was originally planned.
Instead, please join us to learn about small space gardening and DIY rain barrels on the following date:
Learn about square-foot gardening and DIY rain barrels at this demonstration event.
Square-foot gardening is a popular method of growing an intensive vegetable garden in less space. It is also very water and resource-efficient. Visit a working square-foot garden and discuss how to fit in all your favorite veggies. Gary Carter of Friendship garden will also discuss how he sourced and installed the DIY rain barrels that help gardeners water there.
Participants will get a free space-saving heirloom tomato seedling!
Our earlier spring workshops focused on learning how to prune the fruit trees and elderberry bushes that make a nice addition on the margins of some of our community gardens. Thanks to our board member Mallary Lieber for leading those events!
We hope you’re able to get your garden ready and growing soon!
Update 4/2: Please note, our small space gardening workshops have been reformulated and will no longer take place on April 8 & May 13. Watch for more details about an April workshop soon!
Our series of workshops for our gardeners and other interested community members continues, but tomorrow’s event will be postponed! Here’s more information on that and our next event.
Elderberry Pruning Workshop NEW DATE: Saturday, March 18, 2:30 p.m. Kilgore’s Community Garden, 700 N. Providence Rd. Because of the forecast for rain on Saturday, March 11, we’re moving to our rain date of March 18. Still free and open to all! Participants will learn how to prune elderberries, a wonderful native fruiting plant, and go home with a cutting along with instructions about how and where to plant. Led by Mallary Lieber of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and the Community Garden Coalition.
Small Space Gardening Workshops Saturdays April 8 & May 13, 2:30 p.m. Friendship Community Garden, 1707 Smiley Lane Get tips and tricks on fitting all your favorite vegetables into a 4×4′ garden. Visit a working square-foot garden, practice planting with a square-foot grid, and strategize succession planting for the best harvest. Participants will receive Tom Thumb lettuce seeds at the April workshop and an heirloom tomato space-saving seedling at the May workshop.
Update: Our rain date for the Elderberry Pruning Workshop will be Saturday, March 18!
Kicking off the gardening season, this year, the Community Garden Coalition held our first in-person garden leaders meeting in three years last month! It was great to see everyone in person again! If you’re a leader of a neighborhood OR a school garden who missed out, we can’t offer you any of the tasty meal catered by Beet Box, BUT, we do have posted the packet of information shared at the meeting. Be sure to check it out on our Resources for Garden Leaders page if you want to know more about how to get resources or funding for your garden this year.
We have also started a series of workshops for our gardeners and other interested community members in celebration of our 40th anniversary. The workshops will take place throughout the 2023 growing season at various sites. On February 18, we held our first event, a fruit tree pruning workshop led by Mallary Lieber of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and the Community Garden Coalition.
Our next event is an Elderberry Pruning Workshop with Mallary THIS SATURDAY, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Kilgore’s Community Garden, 700 N. Providence Rd. Participants will learn how to prune elderberries, a wonderful native fruiting plant, and go home with a cutting along with instructions about how and where to plant.
We’ll share more details soon about other opportunities on topics like straw bale gardening, small space gardens, kids in the garden, pests, encouraging pollinators & native plants!
We’re also hard at work on a new shed project at the Claudell garden and getting ready to distribute seeds and cool season plants to member gardens. Stay tuned!
Winter may be ending but there’s no Spring Thaw this year!
Well, gardeners, we are sorry to say it, but, due to pandemic restrictions, we were not able to hold our annual community gardening kick-off event this year. The Spring Thaw, CGC’s biggest annual event has been going on for as long as anyone on the board can remember. (We got lucky last year, as it was held mere weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down began.)
Typically, at the Spring Thaw, newcomers are able to get connected to a new garden, returning gardeners get organized with their garden leaders for the new season, and gardeners are able to pick up seeds and how-to information. In the absence of this event, we have packaged and distributed seeds directly to garden leaders. In addition, if you haven’t told your garden leader that you want to continue gardening with us, please let them know immediately as there may be others waiting for plots! And, finally, if you or someone you know would like to start gardening at a community garden, you can request a space via this short form and we will do our best to find a plot for you!
As you get started with your garden, here are some opportunities and resources for learning more about how to grow your favorite veggies.
The final session of the Mid-MO Expo is happening today (Saturday, March 13) online. For just a $6 fee, you can learn about “Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife.” Arrangements can also be made to view the recorded session on “Invasive Plant Identification and Removal.” Register here.
The Unite4Health community garden is planning to host a workshop later this spring with a soil scientist to discuss organic gardening and increasing beneficial microbes. Details to be announced soon.
For a more in-depth learning option, MU Extension is offering the online course “The Beginning Gardener-Getting Started with Vegetables 2021” through April 17 for a $40 fee. Details and registration here.
The Spring Thaw has always been a fun time for all, and we are sorry to miss seeing all your excited, smiling faces this year!
Are you thinking about your 2021 garden? You should be! There’s plenty (drought, pests, disease) that can go wrong despite good planning. Why make things more difficult by waiting until the last minute?
Here’s what I do every January when it’s bitterly cold or icy and I don’t want to venture outside. First I get out my gardening journal — surely you have one! I admit that I didn’t start keeping a yearly garden journal for almost 20 years. Then I forgot and bought seeds for a tomato variety that I had grown before and didn’t like. What a waste of valuable garden space! Lesson learned! Anyway, I go through my notes from the previous year and see what varieties I planted and how they did in regards to yield, diseases, pests, etc. Then I ask my co-gardener, Matt, what he liked best about the garden (sugar snap peas!) and what he didn’t like (kale—but it’s good for him!). Then I trace a new garden outline into my journal from my layout map and start planning what will make the cut this year.
Knowing how many square feet you have to plant is critical to proper spacing of your plants. If there’s one complaint I hear more than any other it’s “my plants didn’t do well and I barely got anything from them.” I’d estimate that 80% of the time it’s because the gardener tried to cram too many plants into too small a space. While intensive gardening can be very successful, it is usually the result of mixing different plants with different requirements throughout the season — not planting 4 pepper plants in 4 square feet.
While CGC gardeners will be offered seeds and plants of tried and true varieties during the season, it can be fun to look to other sources for new and exciting varieties. Your choices are mind-boggling. If this interests you, I suggest looking now while the best varieties are still available because that seed goes fast!
After deciding what plants I want to grow, I go through all my leftover seeds. Questions I ask myself are: what types have I got, how old are they, and is there enough for the upcoming season. Did you know that many seeds are good for several years if stored under cool, dark, and dry conditions? Opinions vary on seed viability lengths but here’s a quick rundown from Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog:
Next up, are you growing any plants from seed at home? Each year, I grow a variety of our favorite heirloom tomatoes from seeds that I have saved from last year’s fruits. It’s really very easy, just get on the Internet and type in “saving tomato seeds.”
However, if you’re inspired to try this yourself keep in mind that only “open-pollinated” seeds will breed true and be nearly identical to the parent plant. In other words, do not attempt this with hybrid varieties unless you are okay with mystery vegetables! For tips on the necessary supplies and methods of starting various vegetable seeds at home check out this MU extension guide.
Finally, for a good overall guide to get you started, try Vegetable Gardening by James Quinn and David Trinklein, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri.
Here’s wishing you a happy and productive 2021 gardening season!
I love fresh green beans, but most of the ones I find at the store look nowhere near “fresh.” Plus, fresh, commercially-grown, non-organic green beans did not pass Consumer Reports’ recent pesticide residue tests (Consumer Reports, “Stop Eating Pesticides,” August 27, 2020). They recommend eating organic green beans. So here’s an idea for you gardeners out there.
At my house, we plant green beans every spring in either April or May depending on the weather forecasts. We harvest LOTS of beans throughout the summer until they start to decline in early August. At that time, we either rip those plants out and replant, or, if we have the space, we plant a couple new 8-foot rows of bush beans, wait a week and plant another couple of rows. By mid-September, we start getting beautiful, damage-free beans, since most of the insect pests of beans are waning in numbers. This year, we’ve been picking about a half-pound a day for weeks. Yesterday we had a full pound, and that was just from two of the 8-foot rows! Not bad for October! This is a great way to get a second crop from areas of your garden that may not be producing much anymore. Although I missed the boat this year, I have also had success planting Sugar Ann peas for the fall. Both crops work with bacteria to fix nitrogen in your soil.
So as you start to plan for next year, here’s what I suggest: don’t plant all your bean seeds in the spring. Hold back a few, and give this a try. You may be happily surprised with a nice harvest of fresh green beans before those cold winter days and frozen vegetables become the norm.
The AHF program allows qualifying individuals to be matched up to $25 at each market, which can be spent on fresh products from local farms. To qualify, individuals must be Boone County residents, receive SNAP or WIC benefits, and have children 19 or under, be disabled, or be a senior 60 or older. Bring your EBT card or WIC packet to the Oasis booth at Columbia Farmers Market to sign up.
Tending your community garden plot can be a stress-relieving activity and an important way to supplement your grocery shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health department has assured us that gardeners can continue to use their community garden plots. However, even as the City and County reopen, it is still important to be aware of the potential to spread the virus even if you don’t know you are ill. The following guidelines should still be followed at your garden.
Below are our recommendations for gardening at this time:
Do not come to the garden if you are not feeling well or someone you live with does not feel well.
Do not enter the garden if there are already 10 people there; come back later.
Keep your distance (6 feet or more) from other gardeners. The CDC says this virus can be spread by people without any symptoms. If you need to be within 6 feet of another gardener, wear a mask.
Clean off tool and hose handles before and after use because the virus has been found to survive up to 3 days on hard surfaces. We recommend you bring a towel or rag and use a solution of 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water to wipe down any tools that you use after removing any dirt.
Please wash your hands with soap and water before and after gardening. If soap is not provided then consider bringing some with you.
Use your own hand tools if you have them.
Wear gloves if possible. Although they can spread the virus, they may help you remember not to touch your face.
We hope you’re able to enjoy spring weather and make use of your gardening opportunity this year, despite the unusual circumstances. Stay safe, respect your fellow gardeners and happy gardening!