Weeding & Maintaining the Pathways
In an effort to keep weeds under control and maintain a neat garden, all gardeners are responsible for maintaining the two feet area surrounding their plots. Please pull weeds, add mulch, and remove any trash from this area. Mulch should be at least 3” thick with a layer of cardboard underneath.
Mulch your beds if you haven’t already! City of Austin Property Management Requirements states: “To build and maintain healthy soil structure, gardeners will use compost, organic fertilizers, mulch, and a rotation of plant varieties. Three inches of compost shall be maintained to prevent soil loss and compaction.” You can use compost, the wood mulch on property, or another mulch of your choice. Read more about the difference between compost and mulch.
AACG follows the Austin Drought guidelines – Stage Two Restrictions apply. Remember that watering at sun up or sun down is best! AACG relies on its members not only to conserve their use of the water, but also to report leaking hose bibs or pipes. Please report these to the Equipment Director either by email or note in the shed and indicate the hose location found on the hose post. If everyone cooperates it will help to keep our water bill low. Automatic timers are forbidden. Do not turn the water on in your plot and leave the area. It’s easy to walk away and forget that the water is turned on. If you see any water running off and away, turn the water bib OFF.
NOTE: All the pipes in the garden are made of plastic (PVC) and are not very strong. If your hose gets tangled do not pull on it as you may snap the pipe under the ground. It takes many hours of digging and repair work to fix this type of break. Also, then the water has to be shut off to all garden plots in a row.
Deep Rooted Plants
As stated in the rules and bylaws, trees and invasives are prohibited in plots. Keep in mind that you must also be able to remove anything you plant when you leave. Small bushes and succulents may develop very deep roots that will make the plant difficult to remove. We prohibit planting these types of plants for that reason.
While we encourage creative expression in your plot, please do not alter it in any way that can not be easily returned to its previous state. This includes drilling into the wood, painting (which can add chemicals to soil), and attaching structures that can not easily be removed.
If your plant leaves are turning yellow or your transplants need a boost, you need to add nitrogen to your soil. Some great ways to accomplish this is to mulch with coffee grounds or add fish emulsion. For more examples of nitrogen sources check out Nitrogen: The Elusive Nutrient.
Sabrina and Vita recently attended a great panel on organic pest control methods at the Coalition of Austin Community Gardens. Check out Vita’s notes from the panel for some great ideas on how to plan for and control some of the most common central Texas pests. Some great resources for identifying pests are http://bugguide.net/ and the Travis County Master Gardener’s help desk is also available to help with your pest or garden questions!