Rainbows, Mulch and Rock Stars

Cliff's sprinkler in pollinator garden creating a rainbow.

Sprinkler in Ben  Nobleman Park’s pollinator garden creating a rainbow.

PART 1: Rainbows, Sprinklers and Drought

For generations, human beings have wondered how to make it rain. Well, the volunteers of Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard have discovered the secret. And those who grow gardens, fruit trees and other crops may be thanking us for years to come.

You see, this spring and summer of 2016 are the hottest and driest that we have experienced since planting our fruit trees in 2009. Without irrigation, this dry heat will stress and even kill young fruit trees. So we took things into our own hands.

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Mulching Now or Never

Two women weeding around cherry tree

Stacey and Lindsay weed around the cherry trees in Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard…but the spring has come and gone…where is the nutrient rich mulch?

Fruit Tree Mulching – Now or Never!

For some it feels like July is just the beginning of the gardening season, but for the volunteers at the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard, we are months into our gardening year.

In March we pruned our fruit trees and since then we have been watering and weeding the trees and caring for the pollinator garden.

The problem is that the time to mulch your trees starts in the early spring and ends in mid July. That’s because if you feed your trees in late summer, it will spur growth into the winter and that tender new growth will likely die during the first frost. Not a good thing.

So, we know you need to feed fruit trees by mid-July…but this year we had a big problem. No money for nutrient-rich mulch! Continue reading

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Weeds, Orchard Sox and Canker

Marilyn prepares to thin the fruit on this young Asian pear tree and to apply Orchard Sox

Marilyn prepares to thin the fruit on this young Asian pear tree and to apply Orchard Sox

You’d think we’re just a bunch of happy gardeners who love spending time in our local park caring for our pollinator garden and our community orchard. Turns out the team of volunteers at the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard are garden warriors, willing to face down the sweltering heat in order to get the job done and to care for our fruit trees and pollinator garden. This weekend we did so by weeding, applying orchard sox and troubleshooting for disease. So ready for battle, we divided up into teams and tackled a number of jobs in our orchard park. Continue reading

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