After two years of work getting a new community garden in Huntington Beach, it’s finally open. Most of us have our plots in various stages of completion, with only a few gardens still untouched. I expect to finish my spring planting today with beets and sunflowers. After that, it will be filling in the spots as things come out. Here is what my A-17 plot looks like.
My friend Judi is gardening in the plot adjacent to mine. We have no path between our gardens, only a board.
I spend a lot of my gardening time sitting on my garden bench. I store fertilizer and tools in the storage compartment under the bench seat.
As you can see, I built my raised beds in a pattern resembling the letter E. My plot is 14 ft x 20 ft. It should have been 15×20, but due to a fence not being where it was thought to be, the planners cut a foot off of a few gardens. Mine was one of the ones so chopped.
I planted eggplant and bell peppers at first. I came back a few days later to find that bunnies had eaten my eggplant to the ground. With a very big sigh, I put up a wire bunny fence and replanted. Then Edison told us that we couldn’t have wire under their power lines. My wire was vinyl coated because I knew we couldn’t have exposed metal. I’m still waiting to see if I have to replace it or not.
The gravel parking area that I got for my plot was absolutely ungardenable. I built raised beds (and by “I”, I mean my husband), hired a kid to rototill and sift out the rocks inside the beds, then put in hundreds of dollars of soil amendments, mainly compost, redwood compost, and steer manure. I dug most of it in myself with some help from my beloved spouse.
After those of us who are attempting to garden over a former parking lot put in raised beds, Edison told us that we couldn’t have raised beds either. They are letting us keep them until January since they’re already planted. I built mine of redwood because I wanted them to last. Ironic, huh? So far I’ve put about $1200 into the plot, and that’s not even counting the seeds and transplants. I may still have to replace my fence and fence posts with plastic, and my redwood beds with plastic border edging. But my little garden is up and growing. I have poundage envy from those of you who are growing 500-1,000 lbs of produce. My goal for this year is 500 lbs from the community and home gardens combined. That’s counting fruit from the trees too.
Also at the community garden I’m growing winter squash (mini red kuri, mini green kuri, and mini blue hubbard), Amish pie pumpkins, radishes, mizuna (a delicious Japanese mustard green), rainbow chard, 40 onions (about 20 each of Southern Belle and Texas Sweet), moon and stars watermelon, Crenshaw melons, and both bicolor and white corn. The corn, Crenshaw melons, watermelon, three varieties of winter squash and Amish pie pumpkins are all new varieties for me. I don’t have space in my home garden for those veggies, so I’m excited to see if I get anything from those plants or not. Our community garden is really close to the ocean, so it may be too cool for some of those crops. Time will tell.
That’s a quick and dirty recap of my new community garden and urban home farmlet. Happy gardening to you all.