Grow100 2015 RESULTS!
Unlike last year, we are not awarding prizes or winners, but just highlighting some cool photos and stories from participants' growing seasons. With that, let's proceed and check out some gardens!
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Pam Hosimer, UME Master Gardener and the Montgomery County Public Library, Germantown Branch
Pam provided a detailed write-up, so I will quote her:
"This garden, in its second year, was a huge success! We expanded from 2 containers to 3 containers. I changed the soil mix. Last year it was 50% topsoil/50% leafgro in the whole container. This year it was 50% topsoil/50% Leafgro on the bottom 2/3 of the container with potting soil on the top 1/3 of the container. This worked much better.
"I used the garden as a successful teaching tool for the monthly kid’s garden program I ran at the library from June through October. The kids loved picking the vegetables, which we proudly donated to the Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg. The staff and the public responded positively to the garden by stopping to look at it as they walked by, asking questions whenever I was out watering it, and not vandalizing the plants.
"The biggest challenge was getting the library staff and volunteers to water the garden on a regular basis. With all the rain we had in the spring they didn’t do much watering. Then they didn’t have a regular watering schedule in place when we stopped getting rain. Next it was hot and dry and no one was watering the plants and the plants stopped thriving. That was frustrating.
Montgomery County Derwood Demo Garden
The folks from the Derwood Demo garden sent in quite a bit of information, so I'll just quote them here:
Cabbage worm damage led to heavy losses of our plantings of 'Lacinato' kale in the Italian garden. (We may have applied row cover too late, after cabbage moths had already laid eggs—lesson learned!) Flea beetles devastated our first planting of eggplant. Cucumber wilt, a bacterial infection carried by cucumber beetles, resulted in early removal of cucumber plants from the Asian bed. In late summer, harlequin bugs appeared in large numbers on turnips and other brassicas, and were partially controlled by hand-picking.
The wet and warm early summer gave rise to lots of fungal diseases. Basil downy mildew infected our Thai basil ‘Siam Queen,’ although the basil varieties ‘Purple Tetra’ and (alleged) partially-resistant Genovese variety ‘Eleonora’ both escaped infection. Early blight and Septoria leaf spot affected tomato plants. Constant removal of infected leaves helped keep the disease from advancing, and we had a successful tomato crop.
The biggest challenge was a rabbit or rabbits that took a particularly liking to the 100 Square Foot Garden, perhaps because of its location near an entry gate. The rabbit’s noshing made it difficult to grow bush beans until very late in the year and impossible to grow edamame, which was particularly disappointing in the Year of the Bean and Pea.
|Tomatoes, peppers and chilies, carrots, and tomatillos were particularly successful crops for us this season.|
We love this smiling Fava Bean plant plate from earlier in the season as well!
Paul DiCrispino - Baltimore County
|Paul had a good crop of sugar snap peas and planted indeterminate tomatoes in the same space with success. He had success growing peppers in 5 gallon buckets, cucumbers in oak barrels, and broccoli in a box.|
|Wow! Paul also grew potatoes in a cylinder.|
David Marcovitz - Baltimore County
David faced a lot of challenges this year. The deer ate the leaves off 4 of his 6 zucchini plants just as they were starting to get some good zucchini. Something had been eating his cucumbers, and something got into the tomatoes even with deer protection. David even found some huge "parsley worms" (black swallowtail caterpillars) eating the parsley on his deck.
|A caterpillar munching on parsley.|
|David had success with broccoli despite battling cabbage worms.|
David tried some carrots and pole beans from seed this year, and both seemed to be growing nicely at the time of check-in.
|Asparagus crowns which may yield some food next year.|
So that's it for 2015! Thanks to everyone who participated and sent in info and photos about their gardening season this year! We plan to move a lot of the great photos, tips, and stories from the past two years into a new "small-scale" section on the GIEI website.
The Grow It Eat It Team (MGs, staff, and faculty from all parts of Maryland) will be discussing the future of Grow100 at our December meeting. We expect that we may drop the 100-square foot garden theme and pursue some other subject and manner of interacting with our readers. Perhaps something related to tomatoes, as 2016 is the Year of the Tomato! Let us know if you have any ideas for a fun way that readers can send in their gardening exploits for us to share with you! (Comment below.)