Accuweather's forecast for January
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Board Adopts Guidelines Implementing Active Gardening Pilot
At the September All Gardeners meeting, Sunshine members directed the board "to pilot test requiring members to actively garden their plot(s) and a process for enforcing this requirement." The board has finalized the guidelines for implementing the pilot and will begin the pilot. The guidelines set out the process for identifying plots not being actively gardened and for how the board will enforce the active gardening requirement. Considerations in identifying inactively gardened plots will include:
- Plot(s) not being consistently planted, maintained, or timely harvested; and
- Consistently producing no more produce from plot(s) than would be expected from a smaller plot or fewer plots.
Once a plot is identified as not being actively gardened, the member will be required to sign an agreement detailing how the plot will be actively gardened. Failure to comply with the agreement will result in a sanction which could range from a warning to reduction in the size or number of plots assigned or termination of membership. Full guidelines.
Holiday Potluck a Success!!!
We gave the TSBVI a donation of $3,800 - the total net income from the Fall Plant Sale. We also presented a pass-along donation of $250 to All Blind Children of Texas. This is the amount of the donation we received from the Irex Foundation earlier this year.
More pictures can be found on the Picture Page
A new opportunity to help. One of our members has arranged for us to pick up some of the food waste from Central Market on North Lamar. "We could start picking up from the kitchen/coffee bar area. This would entail picking up 5 gallon buckets of compostables (I think It would be about 4 per day to start with). Most of this would be coffee grounds, and cut fruits left over from the previous day...Pickup would need to be around 9, by 10 at the latest."
If you are interested, it seems like this opportunity is available most days. Our compost will thank you. Please contact Janet Adams at email@example.com
Everybody has heard of the "Old Farmer's Almanac", but have you ever visited their website? Tons of good information.
Another good resource is TAMU horticulture.
If you have an interesting website to share, please send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomato Tasting Results
Compare the taste and texture of tomatoes over the past years
Gardeners' Picture Page
If you have pictures you want to share on the Sunshine web site Sharon has created a new feature that will allow you to do this.
Navigate to the upload page to upload your pictures.
Go to the Gardener's picture page to see the pictures. Click to see a larger view of each picture.
Problems/Comments? Contact Sharon at email@example.com. Thanks.
The Garden That Gives Together By Zoe Erler, The Philanthropic Enterprise
Watch video of the March-in on March 5.
Courtesy Berkley Bettis
Updated Texas A & M AgriLife Vegetable Planting Schedule
Last year a new vegetable planting guide was published. Of note, tomatoes transplants can be planted the last week of February. Gardeners, watch the forecasts and plant at your own risk.
What Vegetables Grow Well Together
Many times I'm talking to fellow gardeners and am asked "Do you do companion gardening?" Well, yes and no. I subscribe to the theory that "If it tastes good cooked or served together, then it should be able to be grown together". My gardening neighbor tried to grow pole beans with onions on the outside of the beans and swore he'd never do that again because he did not get any beans. I do plant an overabundance of onions around my tomatoes and peppers, but only because there is empty space on the outside. By the time the onions are ready to be taken up (early-mid May), the tommies are just starting to go strong, so no energy is wasted growning the two together. Besides, alliums are supposed to be good bug repellants.
As I was searching for a particular webpage, I came across this article which explains in more detail the ins and outs of companion planting.
(If you come across an article you would like to share, please send the link and maybe an explanation or anecdote to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.)
Pictures of Fall Transplanting
Video from the Plant Sale 2015 -- courtesy Berkley Bettis
Tomato Garden News
Many tomato varieties have been recommended for Central Texas gardeners. The tomato garden located by the entrance was established to evaluate various tomato varieties. Spring 2014 was the fourth year we have field tested tomato plants in the tomato garden. Each spring since 2011, eight tomato varieties have been grown or evaluated in the tomato garden. The tests are designed to determine the yield or production of each variety. Generally, tomatoes are allowed to remain on the vine until color is showing. Tomatoes from the test garden are donated to Micah 6 or Eastside Community Connection. Since 2011 over 4,500 tomatoes from the test garden have been donated.
During the first year of the test garden (2011), over 700 tomatoes were harvested from 24 plants of eight varieties. The Carmelita tomato plants yielded an average of 54 tomatoes per plant followed by La Rosa II with an average of 50 tomatoes per plant. Carmelita is a medium sized globe tomato. La Rosa II or LaRossa is a pear-shaped, paste tomato. A popular heirloom tested in 2011, Cherokee Purple, yielded an average of 14 tomatoes per plant.
In the spring of 2012, the 24 plants yielded over 1,300 tomatoes. The Viva Italia plants were extremely heavy producers averaging about 150 tomatoes per plant. Viva Italia is a pear-shaped, hybrid tomato. Arkansas Traveler yielded an average of 63 tomatoes per plant. Arkansas Traveler was developed in the 1970s and takes its name from an old heirloom that went extinct in the early 1900s. The plants yield a deep pink tomatoes weighing from 5-7 ounces.
The early high temperatures in the spring of 2013 negatively impacted the yield for the plants grown that year. Only a total of 376 tomatoes were harvested from the 24 plants. The three Bedouin plants yielded at total of 102 tomatoes, or 34 per plant, followed by Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye with 83 tomatoes, or 28 tomatoes per plant. Bedouin is a pear-shaped, dark red tomato originating in Eastern Europe. Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye is a port-colored beefsteak tomato developed at Wild Boar Farms in California.
For spring 2014, we planted five plants each of eight varieties. Plants were planted on March 22nd. Below are the varieties grown and the average number of tomatoes harvested per plants.
- Andes - average of 15 per plant
- BHN602 - average of 54 per plant
- Black Krim - average of 30 per plant
- Black from Tula - average of 32 per plant
- Cream Sausage - average of 78 per plant
- Early Girl - average of 107 per plant
- Flamme - average of 98 per plant
- Indigo Apple - average of 52 per plant
Overall, a total of 2,304 tomatoes were harvested. Black Krim and Black for Tula are heirlooms. Both yielded 30-32 tomatoes per plants. Black Krim and Black from Tula are both dark maroon beefsteak tomatoes from Russia. Flamme, or Jaune Flamme, is a French heirloom. Flamme is a small orange globe tomato. On average the Flamme plants yielded about 100 tomatoes each.
Early Girl is a medium size globe tomato, hybrid, reportedly producing earlier than other varieties. The Early Girl plants in the test garden didn't really produce "early" compared with other varieties. About 6% of the Early Girl tomatoes were harvested before June 1st compared with 22% of the Flamme tomatoes and 12% of the Black Krim tomatoes.
The Cream Sausage plants produced a large number of tomatoes during a short period of time. From June 7th through June 17th 225 tomatoes were harvested, or 57% of the total Cream Sausage tomatoes harvested. Cream Sausage is an elongated paste tomato that is cream in color. Cream Sausage tomato plants are short in height, about two feet tall.
Welcome to Sunshine Community Gardens' website
Please feel free to contribute recipes, hints, pictures, links, comments or anything else you feel that will help this website become a gardener's reference and home.
Send email to Sharon at email@example.com.
Sunshine's Compost/Recycling Operations
Do you want to recycle leaves, grass clippings, or vegetable kitchen waste? You are welcome to bring this material to Sunshine Gardens and deposit it in the appropriate clearly marked pile.
Please empty your collection containers (another opportunity, to recycle) for reuse.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept twigs, branches, or logs as we have no way to deal with them as nature cannot break them down quickly enough given our limited space.
Also, we can't accept florist waste. We try to subscribe to organic practices and avoid herbicides and fungicides and preservatives. We don't know what the flowers are treated with but if and only if, it contains none of the above then you are welcome to dump it in our compost pile.