West 104th Street Garden

April 12, 2012

W104th Street Garden Minutes – Saturday, 4/7/12

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 10:01 am
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Meeting chaired by Ann Levine.

1. Dumping: The patio in the West Garden and the stage in the East Garden have become dumping grounds for various pots, furniture, etc. Please ask the Steering Committee or the chairs of the Communal Beds before introducing new items. In case you have not done so, please leave a tag with your name on it so that we know who to contact.

2. Lou Ludyny suggested and Ann agreed that furniture covers would extend the life of garden furniture considerably.

3. The garden shall henceforth enforce the $50 deposit to ensure that all trash is carried out after a private event. Also, we shall try to insert private events into the garden Google calendar so that all members know of parties ahead of time.

4. The chairs of the Communal Beds request help with watering of these beds — as well as the lawns, as long as there are no restrictions on water usage — in case of drought (please water if ground is dry an inch under the surface). We all enjoy the communal parts of the garden, so let us come together to help if and when need arises.

5. Julia Soledispa is organizing a flea market at the garden on May 5. There will be flowers/ plants sold and a table for donated baked goods and clothing and other household items to benefit the garden as well as private vendors. Dinorah has designed the fliers — please let us know if you can photocopy them at work. Some color and some black and white would be great. Please donate baked goods/ gently used items, help spread the word and attend the flea market to make it a success.

6. The combination to the garden lock needs to be changed and will be made official at the next workday.

7. As NYC has legalized bee-keeping, and supporting honey-bees has environmental benefits, Carly Tribull, an entomologist and member of the garden, has done preliminary research into the possible location of a bee-hive in the garden. The New York City Bee-keepers’ Association has visited the garden to investigate and has suggested the SW corner of the East garden as the best location. They would provide a bee-keeper who would be responsible for caring for the bees and covering the bee-hive in case of a private event, etc. If the members want honey, there may be “honey-share” options, by which those who wish might obtain honey at market-price or less. While the hive will generate some income for the garden (exact sums were not discussed), there are several members who are allergic to bee stings and may require hospitalization should they be stung. The garden might also be liable if visitors are stung.

There will be a full membership vote by phone and email next week. Carly will be happy to answer questions related to bees over e-mail.

7A. Other options related to bees are (a) keeping “stingless” bees that can bite (akin to a mosquito-bite) and don’t yield honey but may attract mud-wasps which sting and (b) helping with a City of NY Dept. of Parks and Recreations study of honey-bees that offers 6 native flowering plants (free) and instructions on how to observe and report honey-bee activity for an ongoing study on the catastrophic decline of European honey-bee populations in the United States. These options will also be on the ballot.

8. Work was done on tree-pits, the West Garden lawn and paths, replacing the sides of member beds.

9. Florice Peterkin has been the telephone crew for years without a break and deserves a break. Susan Bernofsky will replace her.

10. Frank Grech will work on the gazebo in a couple of weeks.


April 9, 2012

Watering Tips

Filed under: Gardening Tips — by west104garden @ 8:00 am
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Thanks to Walli for sharing these watering tips.


Hi All,

Since we may well be headed for a very dry summer, we thought we’d share some watering techniques that help build health root systems and enable plants to survive drought better.

Watering every day is not a good idea, no matter the weather!!  If you water every day, roots stay near the surface and this does not make for very strong plants with a healthy root system. If you stick your finger in the soil and go about an inch down and there is water there — no reason to water!

In warm weather, water in the morning to give plants a chance to drink up before the hot sun or strong winds evaporate the moisture. This protects plants from wilting in the afternoon heat, too. In a prolonged drought, cover more sensitive plants with a shade cloth to limit midday transpiration, suggests Cado Daily of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. If you can’t water in the morning, try for late afternoon,  but not too late; the foliage should have time to dry before the sun goes down so it doesn’t develop fungal diseases.

Seeds and seedlings demand moisture close to the soil’s surface, but more established plants need deep watering to develop roots that will find water in the subsoil when drought strikes. Just be careful not to overwater! You want soil that’s damp but not soggy down to 5 to 6 inches below the surface. In waterlogged soil, roots are deprived of oxygen and may lose the ability to take up water. If your plants’ foliage begins to brown at the edges and fall from the plant, you may be overwatering.

More here

Thorough but infrequent watering encourages plants to develop deeper root systems, giving them inbuilt drought protection. This works for lawns as well as for garden plants. Watch the weather. Rainfall is a free and easy way to water your garden.


Thanks you.

W104th Street Garden Steering Committee

April 4, 2012

Gardening Classes at Riverside Farm

Filed under: Events,News — by west104garden @ 9:55 am
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Thanks to Walli for finding these course opportunities at Riverside Farm, East 29th Street at the East River.

Preparing planting beds, seeding and transplanting

Description: Learn how we get soil ready for planting and when to direct seed vs. starting plants ahead of time for transplant. Time: 9am – 12pm Dates: March 31, May 12, June 23

Plant Maintenance: Watering, feeding, mulching, pruning and weeding

Description: Here we’ll show you all the basics and teach best practices for successful growing. Time: 9am – 12pm Dates: April 14, May 26


Description: Learn how we turn kitchen scraps and farm trimmings into healthy soil for our plants. You’ll learn the basics and how to start your own systems. Time: 9am – 12pm Dates: April 28, June 9

April 1, 2012

2012 Season Opening – Meeting Minutes 3/18/2012

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 8:00 pm
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Welcome to a new year of gardening. Our opening meeting was held on March 18 at the Schneider Apartments, a lovely potluck meal starting us off for a lively meeting.  Here’s what we discussed.

Financial Statement: A financial statement was distributed. The closing balance of the garden as of March 18, 2012 is $7,353.85.

Calendar: A calendar of workdays and tentative garden events was distributed.

Committees: Several committees reported in with updates.

GreenThumb representative, Melissa Glowski, discussed the role of GreenThumb and upcoming GreenThumb workshops.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Raised Bed Skillshare
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
250 West 121 Street NY,Manhattan

Saturday, April 21, 2012
GreenThumb/Grow to Learn Spring Supply Giveaway
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
GreenThumb Compound,Queens
QueensPlazaSouth & 10th Street, Queens

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Grant Writing Tips & How to Build a Tree Fence
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jardin de la Roca/ The Rock Garden,Bronx
160 Elton Street,Bronx,NY,Bronx

The Maintenance committee discussed needed repairs to the gazebo. Repairs, including replacement of the outer boards and painting, will begin in April. Structural beams are sound and stairs and lattice are in good condition. Frank will purchase lumber for repairing the gazebo and will pick up extra 2x12s to replace those in plots with damaged boards. Paul offered to accompany Frank to Home Depot.

In addition the status of the East Wall repairs, the committee noted that the gate has pulled out of the capstone, creating a hazardous condition. The owner of the building to the east of the garden is responsible for making repairs. GreenThumb will need to be involved. Kevin offered to check with the building owner and Melissa will check with GreenThumb.

The maintenance committee will also replace the compost platform.

The Compost committee received some money last year through a grant, which we can use to purchase smaller barrels for compost drop-off/collection. Jean Jaworek explained how compost works and requested that members remember to crank the compost barrel during their monitoring hours.

The Events committee is seeking volunteers to serve as committee chair. Kim Maitland, who handles requests for special events, gave an update on rules for hosting events. Noreen Whysel will update the events request form to include the rules and post it to the garden website: http://www.west104garden.org/. Julia Supelveda offered to plan a Spring flea market in the garden, which will be held on May 5. Look for additional information shortly.

The Grants committee should be revived. A member noted that the garden could use better controls on spending and more events for fundraising so that we have a sustainable future. If anyone is interested in serving as chair for Grants, contact the steering committee at w.104.garden@gmail.com. There are a few interesting opportunities, including a mini grant from Change By Us

Monitoring Chair, Walli Raninger, provided signup sheets for garden monitoring positions. Each garden member is responsible for two days of monitoring so that our garden complies with of Green Thumb’s open garden hours requirement. If you have not yet selected your two dates for monitoring, please contact Walli at monitoring104@gmail.com for a list of available dates.

A new member, offered to set up a Google Group for Member communications. Please look for an invitation to join this group. Although it will be an “opt-in” group, we strongly encourage all members to join so you can receive announcements and stay in touch with goings-on at the garden.

Kevin Lee chairs the Water Barrel committee and requested that members contact him at klee94@gmail.com, if you would like to learn how to do it.

The West Garden requires volunteers to join the committee. Please contact Suzanne Charle at suzcharle@gmail.com for information.

Plot Assignments: A plot map with a numbered list will be posted inside the east and west sheds.

New Business: A new member, Carly, who is an entymology PhD student, suggested starting a beekeeping hive. The Steering Committee suggested doing some research first before bringing it to a member vote.

Steering Committee: An election was held for New Steering Committee members. Congratulations and thank you to all for stepping forward.

Caroline Clark
Christine Farrier
David Kaplan
Ann Levin
Dinorah Matias
Katy Pederson
Sumana Raychoudhuri
Noreen Whysel

Next Workday: The next workday is Saturday, April 7.  An orientation for new members will be held on this date to go over the rules as well as tour the garden. All members are requested to attend each workday. If you cannot attend, please contact the steering committee at w.104.garden@gmail.com to request a make up assignment.

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