Master Gardener Liz Olsen and her Sam Case School agronomist students on their final touches on the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse garden for another growing season!
This year due to the abundance of edible flowers, sunflowers, calendula, marigolds and flowering herbs/greens – oregano, fennel, arugula, the garden is now also designated as a Pollinator Garden in addition to being a Pesticide Free Zone!
When putting the garden to bed this season, we are trying a new experiment – some beds were covered in black landscape cloth then covered with straw (don’t use hay too many grass/weed seeds) to see if the soil becomes less compacted throughout the winter and if the soil is warmer in the spring.
Two beds were sown with Crimson Clover a cover crop and covered with straw. The Clover will be turned into the soil as an amendment in the spring.
Two beds were planted with various kinds of garlic and covered with straw.
All beds were amended with Lime to sweeten the “ph” of the soil and Super Triple Phosphate 0-45-0 since our soils are so poor in phosphate.
A favorite part for everyone is digging in the soil together. Favorite of the students planting and digging POTATOES!!!
The YBLG demonstrates amazing well what edibles can be grown in inhospitable coastal conditions. Of course, growing tomatoes is a daunting and fruitless endeavor right on the coast but we are able to get at least a decent crop of cherry and grape tomatoes.
New this year – we had a jungle of Fava Beans (similar to Lima Beans) They took over two of the beds. I guess we overplanted a bit!
Teacher Kim Haddon is a wonderful teacher. At the end of the harvest she asked the students what the terms or processes of Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll, Transpiration and other plant science terms. The students shouted out correct enthusiastic responses. I commented that our Master Gardeners just learned these terms this season, so the 2nd grade students are way beyond the curve.
Next season, I think we will try for mini pumpkins and winter squash one more time. So that can be a project for the new MG Apprentices along with any other edible project/demonstration of their choosing.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! SEE YOU IN THE SPRING!!!