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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Turlock Community Garden Offers Helpful Tips and Beautiful Scenery

Community+Garden+entrance.+%28Signal+Photo%2C+Matthew+Bonzi%29

Community Garden entrance. (Signal Photo, Matthew Bonzi)

Earning an official status in October 2020, the Turlock Community Garden has been a great place for local residents to enjoy a little slice of nature while also getting their hands dirty learning the ins and outs of growing their own food. 
Turlock Community Garden is a collection of 45 plots, each 10’x20′ in size, which are leased one year at a time. Each plot is divided by pathways covered in recycled walnut shells, which creates a wonderfully satisfying sound when crunched beneath your shoes, but also keeps the paths from becoming muddy.
To be considered a recognized community Garden, the space must be funded by the community. As such, the plots are mostly rented to families and individuals hoping to utilize the space. The Garden is a fantastic place for wildlife, including a wide range of birds, small mammals, and bees. 
Benefits of A Community Garden

  • Community gardens allow people to produce their own food.
  • Shelved food from the grocery store typically has less nutrients due to the time it takes to reach the customer.
  • Vegetables typically taste better when grown and consumed in the proper season.
  • A community garden is a great place for people to share their knowledge of gardening.
  • The Community garden is a quiet place to quickly escape the paved roads and commotion of town.

Tips For A Successful Harvest

  • Composting is an important part of gardening. The better the soil the healthier the plants will be. 
  • Crop changing and composting should be started in the Fall.
  • Applications of pesticides should be done in the early morning to prevent the sun from damaging plants.
  • Watering should be done in the early morning for the same reason.
  • Drip irrigation is recommended over sprinkler systems or using a hose. Drip systems not only use less water, but prevent plants from being burned by the sun and are more accurate in the application.
  • Succession planting is a great way to harvest fresh vegetables each week. Some good options to start with are radishes, carrots, beets, or any other fast growing vegetable. Information on rate of plant growth can usually be found on the back of seed packets.
  • Put a basket over new plants to prevent animals from making a snack out them. Birds have been known to watch as things are being planted and return to the sight later for a quick snack, not to mention rats and mice looking for a meal.
  • Use cardboard without coatings to prevent weeding. To do this take cardboard that has no coating to cover a given area and then cover with dirt. This practice is ideal for Winter and Fall.
  • It is recommended to use untreated wood to prevent any unwanted chemicals from leeching into your garden, cedar and redwood are great choices. 
  • Raised garden beds, both portable and permeant, help to protect against animals and help to maintain soil quality. One of the main goals of gardening is to facilitate happy soil.
  • Companion planting with flowers like marigolds will attract pollinators, which are important to the success of your garden.

Turlock Community Garden’s mission is “We value and celebrate all types of diversity in working inclusively and collaboratively, through sustainable gardening practices, to produce food which fosters and promotes healthy lifestyles and helps build and maintain strong community bonds.
For more information about the benefits, definition, or future of Turlock Community Garden learn more here.
A guided tour of the garden is free but you must register in order to learn more about this highly beneficial community asset. Reserve your spot for the next tour, there is a maximum of 10 people per tour.

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Turlock Community Garden Offers Helpful Tips and Beautiful Scenery