Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Spring! We welcome the Vernal Equinox

On March 20th 2013 our hours of daylight and our hours of darkness were  as closely equal in length as they ever get throughout the year and now everyday until the summer solstice will be light out a little longer until the longest day in June. Long ago this held more importance because people really needed to make use of the extra light to get what they needed to, done. But in those days people even made use of the bright light of a Full Moon to cut hay or even to frame buildings. Artificial light was in its infancy then and was used sparingly. We are using light to start plants to have plant starts for sale and for the Learning Garden.
Beautiful Seedling Tomatoes
See the seed leaves? (smooth)
See the second set of leaves? (toothed)
Below is an example of the benefits of transplanting seedlings into larger size containers
The plants in the front and the plants in the back are the same age.
The plants in the back were transplanted into bigger peat pots about two weeks ago. The plants in the back are much bigger the transplanting was the only difference in their care.
The deer have been visiting our Learning Garden beds we see their cloven hoofed foot prints.
Our strategy has been to keep our raised beds free of the types of plants that they like to eat during the winter months. I was told by the conservation district that deer will create a browsing circuit or route and if you can stay off of that  by eliminating tasty things when  the pickings are slim, you will have less problems.  
So far so good!
Please feel free to drop off used plant containers
and plants and heirloom seeds (seeds go in the shed) at the
Learning Garden.
We are having weekly work parties in the LG every Wednesday from Noon to 2:00. Please join us!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Plants and Work Parties

The Learning Garden is planning a plant sale for Friday April 5th and needs donations of plastic pots of all sizes, large and small.  We also would appreciate any donations of plants flowering perennials, day lily, strawberry plants, raspberry canes, bulbs etc. Please drop plants by the Learning Garden located to the North of the dinning hall. Put them next to the shed. 

For the rest of the semester you will find us working from 12 to 2 every Wednesday. Please feel free to join us. 

With questions, contact our garden manager Lynn at her SMU email lynn.villella@...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Native Tree Nursery Grows

We now have an inventory of 35 plus potted native trees. Student volunteers working on their service learning commitments potted up another 20 plus trees today.  Four evergreen coniferous species Grand Fir Abies grandis, Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menzeisii, Western Red Cedar Thuja plicata, Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla, and one deciduous species Vine Maple  Acer circinatum. This is a fine collection of trees that will grow well in this climate. These tree species have shaped the history of the Pacific Northwest. They have provided habitat, medicine and a livelihood to many who have lived here. It is good to know them and to grow them.

See those green sprouts on the left that is Garlic! 

What a happy bunch of people and trees!
Thank You! 

 We hope to sell these trees and to use them to do Bonsaii anyone interested in establishing a Bonsai collection for SMU or learning, creating and having your own Bonsaii should contact me at . Keep posted to learn the date of our next plant sale we are hoping to have it the 1st Friday in April. Anyone with plants or bulbs to donate are encouraged to drop them off at the Learning Garden.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Native Tree Nursery at SMU

At our Plant Sale on March 1st we had 4 species of native trees that were available bare root. To keep them healthy we have begun to pot them up into 2 gallon buckets. The buckets are half the price of nursery pots the same size. To make sure the buckets drain as well as pots we drilled holes in the bottom of the buckets.

A well planted Vine Maple Acer circinatum
The students mixed up soil for the trees and filled the buckets.
Some of the trees required the roots to be trimmed. The planting went well. We will be planting the remaining trees tomorrow March 7th. If you would like to plant some nice trees stop by at 10:00 A.M. The species we will be working with are Vine Maple, Grand Fir, Western Red Cedar, Douglas Firs.  

This amazing crew also removed the rest of the remaining Ivy roots
that we were trying to eradicate and then transplanted seedlings in the greenhouse. I somehow managed to not get a single photo of that work we were so busy 

Holding our flowering Tat soi from the greenhouse
Thank You to all the volunteers!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Plant Sale Raises Funds for Spring Projects

People really turned out for our first plant sale of the year. We had a selection of fruiting plants, Strawberry and Raspberry plants were very popular.

We are raising vegetable starts in the greenhouse. They will be available in about 3 weeks.We hope to continue to have our plant sale once a month throughout the Spring semester. If you have bulbs or perennials or Raspberry canes or Strawberry plants you would like to donate to our cause they would be greatly appreciated. Just drop them off at anytime by the picnic table at the Learning Garden located near the dining hall. Thanks to all the people who came out and supported the Learning Garden!