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FIRST WEEK OF MARCH!  

Tasty Provider Beans, Powdery Mildew Resistant

Go get your seeds, transplants, any amendments that make you happy, clear your space, and go for it!  Poke bean seeds in at the base of finishing peas, tomatoes, artichokes from transplants, corn, New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, summer and winter squash!  [Pilgrim Terrace gardeners, those of you in the lottery section this year, get your winter squash in early so they have plenty of time to mature and harden on the vine.]  If you have room and want to, plant last rounds of cool-season crops – broccoli (with cilantro & lettuce), cabbage, potatoes.  Add more year-rounds, beets, carrots, chard, bunch onions, radish, turnips.  Remember to leave space for your succession plantings!  

True heat lovers next month  – eggplant, limas, melons, okra, peppers and pumpkins.  Wait, wait…you can do it.  Unless you live in the foothills with a south facing wall, many wait to plant tomatoes until next month.  That means if you haven’t already, get those babies started in the greenhouse to get a head start!    

Keep in mind our June gloom that we had all summer last year.  Think about planting heat lovers within a south facing ‘U’ shape of taller plants to give them more captured heat.  The sides of the U act as a windbreak, and hold the heat in.  You could wedge the U sides a little, angled like outspread wings.  Maybe get more determinate toms, with different dates to maturity so you have a steady supply.  The shorter determinates will be closer to the ground in your U shape ‘enclosure,’ and the whole plant will stay warmer.  Be careful to plant far enough apart that the tomato leaves aren’t touching, lessening the spread of Verticillium and Fusarium wilts.  Eggplants may especially like this warm U shaped  environment because they like a little humidity.  Plant them closer to the plants behind them so they can snuggle happily.  If you plant in rows, stagger them one plant in from the end of a row.  The outmost/endmost plants are usually drier.  Just like with strawberries, don’t plant them right near a hot wicking wood bordered edge.  The board heats, dries the neighboring soil.  Strawberries like water, good drainage, not dry baked roots.

Or if you anticipate a coolish summer,  just love winter plants, keep planting them!

Plant flowers, chamomile for tea, poppy for seeds, veggie starts (hot peppers), to give as Mother’s Day living gifts!  That’s 9 weeks from now.  Plant a little extra all the time for ready gifts for any occasion!

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Dear Pilgrim Terrace Gardeners and Friends!

We just got the official letter from Antonio Velasquez, our Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden Manager!

I’m absolutely delighted we have new plot term dates that more closely follow nature, makes so much more sense than breaking midwinter, during the middle of winter gardening! Please give a big THANK YOU to Antonio for making this change for us!

Now, the application period is from Aug 16 to Sep 17, plot term to be started Oct 1! By many, October is considered to be the prime fall planting month, some prefer it to spring planting!

The fee is now $62/year – renewing gardeners’ fees prorated at $49/year for Santa Barbara residents. Renewal aps need to be in by 5 PM Sep 17.

Things to think about….
If you are giving up your plot, please clean it up for the new incoming gardener. Let us know if you will be giving plants or gear away – many would be grateful for these gifts. If you know someone is having a difficult time, please offer a hand.
If you are renewing, tidy up so we look good to start the way for newcomers! We will be having visitors, asking questions, looking to see what plots they would like to have. One of the criticisms I hear most frequently is we let good food go unharvested, even let to rot on the ground. Please keep up with your harvests as possible. If you need help harvesting, ask one of us, there will be someone to help. One of your plot neighbors is a good choice.
If you are in the lotto section, stay flexible, keep your timeline in mind. At worst you don’t get your same plot back. If there is a lotto. If your name isn’t pulled, you can talk with Antonio and get a plot that is available in another section of the garden. If your name is pulled, but you didn’t get your same plot back, you can ask others if they will trade with you. If you can’t make a trade happen, be ready to move.
If you want a plot, put those dates on your calendar and look forward to fresh organic produce on your table!

Happy Gardener!
Cerena

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