What a Spring!

We’ve all undoubtedly been teased by the warmth of the last few weeks, and the excitement for working in the garden can be overwhelming! While most things are most certainly best left until a safe planting date at the beginning of June, there are always things that can be done to get the garden ready for some serious growing.

Plan your garden! Pick a day with a few free hours and stroll around your yard, using the black earth and green grass as a blank canvas for your imagination. Picture colours, smells, and tastes and try to place them in the physical space of your garden-to-be. Envisioning the potential for new or larger beds will help you realize how much your space is capable of! If you’re at a creative block but know you want to build on your growing area, give us a call for garden designs!

Build Boxes! Compost bins and raised garden beds can be built using recycled wood. Composting your organic matter throughout the summer and winter will ensure you have a great cache of nutrient-rich dirt next spring! Building raised beds or boxes is an amazing way to maximize space in your yard and can allow you to grow things in spaces you never knew you had!

Amend your beds! Now’s a great time to analyze the soil in your garden. How does the dirt feel? Is it soft and fluffy, or hard and dry? Ammendments like peat or coconut husk are excellent ways to increase porosity, water retention, and drainage in your earth, giving the future plants’ roots plenty of room to expand in their search for food. Finding a good source of compost can be really important for beds that have started to settle down and Urban Eatin is happy to do all the hard work!

Start Planting Seeds! Chards, Lettuces, Mustards, Beets, Brocollis, Peas, Onions, Chives, Carrots! These seeds will all love you for planting them early, and reward you with early and bigger harvests. One of the best feelings in mid-may is to see your lettuce developing character while everything else waits inside!

 

Introduce your Seedlings to the Sun! Flourescents and windows are great for providing light for your seedlings, but nothing beats a day lazing around beneath the rays of the sun. Warm sunny days are excellent opportunities to start bringing your already sprouted plants into the real world, allowing them to become accustomed to huge quantities of light as well as seriously strengthening their branches in the breeze. Be careful not to go too quickly! Seedlings from inside can get sunburn from too much sun exposure too quickly! Start with a few hours at a time. Overcast days are great, but make sure it isn’t too cold! Bring plants in for the nights, especially in the next few weeks.

Green Manure: Sowing a cover crop, often of leguminous plants, is what is known as green manure. Often it is mowed and/or plowed under after a short period of growth. The benefits of green manure are manifold:

-Leguminous crops fix nitrogen
-Supresses weeds
-Acts as a living mulch
-Draws nutrients up from deeper soil
-Pollen and nectar source
-A crop in itself

Some popular green manure crops include:

-Alfalfa: nitrogen fixer
-Red Clover: accumulates phosphorus, has medicinal uses
-Oats: quick growing, good summer planting
-Buckwheat: accumulates phosphorus

 

About Urban Eatin’ Composters!

Ecological!

Firstly, we are proud to say that our composters are built from scratch, using 100% salvaged wood! We rejeuvenate and make use of lumber primarily from shipping pallets, as well as other materials salvaged from construction sites and the like.

Effective (and easy)!

Our composters have a highly effective design. They are 1 cubic yard in size, which is a good minimum optimum volume of organic material to generate adequate heat, airflow and for composting action to occur. They come equipped with a removable lid and front door to make accessing the compost much easier. They also come with a front ‘kicker’ to make turning the compost easier as well as a custom build to allow for adequate air circulation throughout the compost. You will be pleasantly surprised by how effective our design is in comparison to plastic bins available in stores!

Affordable!

You can order one of our bins for $105 after taxes; a price similar to the standard black plastic bins available in stores and provided by the City of Winnipeg, but will also have all of the additional benefits described above.

Contact us to order your custom compost bin and start turning your household and yard ‘wastes’ into useful, rich soil! We are also open to custom compost designs for custom yard spaces.

 

And This is My Garden

Next weekend, at the Winnipeg Cinematheque:

Set in the small community of Waboden, Manitoba, And This Is My Garden explores an innovative school gardening program that is breaking new ground in education and literally growing a healthier community in the process. Schoolteacher Eleanor Woitowicz is spearheading an education-based sustainable food movement called the Mel Johnson School Gardening Project. Woitowicz teaches students how to take care of their own backyard vegetable gardens and reap the rewards of growing their own organic foods. Over the past four years the teachers have established 58 small vegetable gardens right in their students’ backyards. The Mel Johnson project has caught the eye of many influential organizations including the David Suzuki Foundation, Manitoba Conservation and even the United Nations.

Should be a good view! click here for more info!

Enjoy the last few weeks of May, and let’s hope this weather keeps up right through till planting time!

The folks at Urban Eatin Gardeners’ Co-Op