Saturday, July 30, 2011

Growing Vegetables in Containers

If you don't have a big yard for a vegetable garden, or just want to get a little vegetable gardening in before we get a community garden plot in the neighborhood, try growing in containers.

This 10-Minute University (really almost 30 minutes) video, by Clackamas County, was filmed at the Oregon City Farmers Market. It has good tips to get you started. And here is a link to an article on growing veggies in containers from Around Town Magazine.

Master Gardener 10 Minute University-Growing Edibles in Containers from Clackamas County on Vimeo.

Here is a highlight Master Gardener, Darlene Reimer's tips from the video:
  • Bigger is better than small when it comes to containers, roots need room to grow.
  • Good drainage is important; containers must have drainage holes.
  • Don't use garden soil in containers, use a good quality soil less mix that will drain well.
  • Mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil as you fill the pots.
  • Water the plants well before planing them in the container and then water them in.
  • Keep the plants watered and fertilized as the season progresses.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where to build a Community Garden in the Hector Campbell Neighborhood?

The closure of Hector Campbell Elementary School will leave a big hole in our neighborhood. We have high hopes for a new school or other community use to fill the void quickly. Originally the School District planed to lease the building ASAP; our neighborhood submitted a proposal to use part of the school grounds for a community garden.

However, at the July 7th school board meeting, the district decided not lease Campbell Elementary in the coming year as it considers possible uses for the building in light of recent decisions by the state Legislature to create "open enrollment" between school districts and the creation of all-day kindergarten. Staff will continue to consider discussions with community gardens, North Clackamas Parks and potentially move a district department or function to the complex to have a daily presence. In addition, staff would implement a security plan as discussed in previous meetings and reports.

Our neighborhood will negotiate with the school district to use part of the grounds for a garden. At the July 7th meeting the district did say that they didn't want to enter into any commitments for "long term use." Depending on how long "long term" is, that could be a deal breaker. We need to put our volunteer resources and money into a garden location that we can use for at least several years.

If the school grounds location doesn't pencil out, we will need to find another location. If you have any ideas, let us know!