The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Sunday in the Dirt

Our first big garden work party of the season! It was a gorgeous sunny day, so comfortable for gardening. We knocked off the entire to-do list. Of course, now we have a whole new to-do list to tackle.

French sorrel: Eat it as a salad green, flavorful soup herb, and whatever other way you enjoy it. This lemony, delicious, healthy, self-seeding perennial herb is also first crop that’s ready to eat as the season begins. It’s also just about the last one available before we put the garden to bed.

We’ve further reduced the amount of grass that needs mowing by laying coffee bags around the four growing beds outside the garden fence. Wood chips delivered to us by Vermont Expert Tree and Landscaping hold down the bags and make fine walkways. These boxes contain garlic and walking onions (a perennial scallion-like onion), some of the only crops the local critters won’t chomp.

We love the beautiful grasses, perennials, and flowers that come up every year. Most were donated by local gardeners in 2014, our first year in the dirt. The perennial bed grows between the sidewalk and the garden fence; it’s the public face of the Garden at 485 Elm. Keeping it spruced up is fun and part of being good neighbors.
Have you ever seen more beautiful poo? This well-composted horse manure comes to us courtesy of a neighbor’s equine family members. This week we’ll plant kale and chard seeds in this nourishing medium.
We grow perennial herbs. Making their appearance in these beds for the sixth year are chives, French sorrel, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, and thyme.

The tomatillos are self-seeding. Gardeners are pulling out the woody stalks from last year’s plants. But they’re leaving the wispy, globular husks containing the tiny seeds that will become this year’s tomatillo crop.

Throughout the season, keeping up with weeding will ensure healthier plants and avoid mutant monster weeds later on. Here Shannon discusses how to weed in the growing beds.