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Sacramento community gardens still open

Gardens see continued demand for space, but COVID restrictions, too

Artichoke plant
This artichoke plant is a star at the Fremont Community Garden on Q Street in midtown. It is one of 17 community gardens operated by the City of Sacramento. (Photo by Debbie Arrington)




With renewed interest in food gardening, plots in Sacramento-area community gardens continue to be in high demand.

But if you’re looking for a plot, you’ll need to wait until next year.

Due to pandemic-related restrictions in Sacramento County, the City of Sacramento put a hold on assigning new plots to gardeners until “stay-at-home” orders are lifted. The greater Sacramento region will be under new shelter-in-place rules, effective at 11:59 p.m. Thursday night.

Fortunately, Sacramento’s 17 city-run community gardens will still be open to member gardeners. They must wear masks while tending their plots and should bring disinfectant wipes to clean any shared tools.

“We’re seeing continued demand (for plots),” said Bill Maynard, Sacramento’s community garden coordinator. “Lots of retired folks in particular want plots.”

Sacramento continues to expand its community garden network. “We just opened one in Northwest Natomas at Blackbird Park,” Maynard said. “We sold out of all 54 plots in two weeks. We have 36 people on the waiting list.

“Another garden is coming near the (Interstate) 5 and (Highway) 99 split,” Maynard added. “We’re shooting for 24 (gardens) by 2024.”

With such high demand, Sacramento has gotten creative with garden placement. For example, the Sojourner Truth Garden – located adjacent to the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library and Sacramento’s School of Engineering and Sciences – was planted entirely on top of the parking lot.

“We built the garden beds on asphalt,” Maynard explained. “The beds have two feet of soil. We have room for 36 gardeners.”

Due to its location, the Sojourner Truth garden is also popular with the high school’s teachers. Four plots are dedicated to school and class use.

For a full list of Sacramento’s city-run community gardens:
https://bit.ly/3gHKDtf

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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