Wednesday September 28, 2016
Not many people get to eat delicious produce from a garden grown right in their own community, but if you live in Mountain House you probably know about the Kailash Community Garden in Bethany Village. Kailash and Komala spoke to us about what it takes to grow a truly successful garden and what we can expect from their garden this winter. They also shared some pointers for those of us who are beginners at gardening!
Where does your family’s passion for gardening come from?
My husband is from a farmer family and I have a gardening passion. We have been doing backyard gardening for a long time, growing mostly fruits and herbs in the Bay Area until we came to Mountain House.
How has opening your garden to the community impacted your experience living at Mountain House?
It has been very good. We have met people who live in many parts of world and came to see the garden with friends and family. It has been good to see that some families have been inspired to start their own garden.
Is the Kailash Family Garden known for a specific kind of produce? In other words, is there a particular fruit or veggie you grow that is popular with the community?
We grow lots of Asian varieties of vegetables. We also grow what may be good to consume and hard to find in stores, for example Cherokee purple tomatoes.
What would you say has been the most rewarding part about sharing your garden with the community?
It feels really good to see the thrill and excitement of the people who visit the garden. Most often people are reminded of their childhood when their parents or grandparents would grow their own produce at home. Often times, families bring their children (although it is hard to pick the vegetables when the children are around) to show and educate them about the plants and vegetables. We have also met people who are experts in agriculture and different fields, but do not live in Mountain House. It has been eye-opening to see how fresh vegetables look and feel.
Your family’s garden has been thriving for the past few years. What are some helpful tips you can share on how to grow a successful fall veggie garden?
o Use manifold to water your trees. Bury the open end of ¼” tube to depth of 12”-18” near the tree roots to water at the roots.
o For vegetables: use subsurface drip with built in emitters and plant seed/plant where water is dripping.
o If possible, get one small greenhouse where one can germinate seeds for the garden.
o Our summer garden is April-September and our winter garden is October-March.
o We are still experimenting with the timing, as nothing grows during December-February.
o We are going to plant during the 1st week of October, assuming that vegetables will be ready for consumption from mid-December to February.
o We are planting cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, rutabaga, romaine lettuce, ice lettuce, kale, broccoli, beetroot, fava bean, radish, carrot, peas, dill, cilantro, potato, onion.
Make sure to check out Komala’s blog for more updates, events, and extra gardening tips! With a little patience, practice, and sunshine, you will see the fruits of your labor (literally) come to life. See below on how to get started on your veggie garden this winter.
Pick Your Veggies
It’s important to know which veggies are meant be planted in summer, and which ones are meant to be planted in the fall. Snap peas, corn, cucumbers, melons, peppers, tomatoes, and squash thrive in warm soil and high temperatures. Beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, and spinach are what you want for a successful winter harvest!
Location, Location, Location
The next step is to decide where your garden should live. You want a spot that is close to a water source and has plenty of sunlight, but is protected from harsh weather. Also, remember that space is very important. Since you are a beginner, having a small garden would be the best option.
Create a Blueprint
When it comes to designing the layout of a garden, there are two routes you can take. Traditionally, a vegetable garden would be set up in rows, but since we are using a smaller space, dividing your garden into small raised beds would be more suitable.
When designing your garden, write out specifically where you planted your veggies. It’s important to do this each growing season, so that you can plant your veggies in the same spot every three years. This will ensure that your veggies retain their nutrients, and diminish any harmful insects or toxic pathogens.
Make Sure Your Soil is Ready!
Before planting your seeds, the soil in your garden needs to be in tip-top shape. The best way to do this is to fill each bed with compost, which can be made from rotten fruit, grass, leaves, banana peels, and dried potatoes, or purchased from a store. There are also soil testing kits out there for you to use!
Tender Love and Care
What’s really going to keep your garden growing this winter is giving it all the attention that it needs. For raised beds, you can water every other day. Weeding and fertilizing is also a must! You can use packaged fertilizer or drizzle on more of your compost concoction.
Harvest, Gather, Feast!
Believe it or not, there is actually a technique to harvesting. “On time” harvesting will encourage your veggies to produce more as soon as they are picked! Other veggies are best harvested when they are small. It’s important to keep track of what your veggies need, so check the seed packaging for instructions. Once you have harvested all of your goodies, invite the family over and enjoy a delicious meal!
For further gardening tips and tricks like the ones above, visit TopInspired.com.
Happy Harvesting and enjoy your fall garden!