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Common Path Encroachment
Sunshine site rules prohibit encroach on common paths with either plants, plot borders, or structures, and gardeners must keep the paths clear of hoses, garden equipment, etc. Common paths are designed to provide gardeners with wheel barrow access to their plot as well as convenient access to a faucet/hose station and normally 4 feet wide. Sunshine site rules also require gardeners to maintain a two-foot strip of any common paths adjoining their plot.
Last January, the board identified common paths and asked gardeners whose plots were encroaching to rein in their plot borders when planting for spring season. While significant improvement has been made there is still some encroachment. The board is again asking gardeners to check their plots for encroachment on common paths and to try to eliminate that encroachment when planting for the fall season. Gardeners should consider mature plant size when planting along a common path. If crops such as okra or tomatoes are planted right along the common path, they will encroach as grow.
As a general rule, north-south common paths run along the faucet/hose stations. East-west common paths are laid out as needed to provide wheel barrow and faucet/hose station access. Normally, there is at least one (frequently only one) major east-west common path in each zone, and it will usually run the entire length of the garden. Common paths south of the road between compost area and chicken coop are the least well defined. To see a map of Sunshine Gardens showing major common paths, click here.
Almost every plot will border at least one common path. There are several ways to identify if a plot may be encroaching. A plot is probably encroaching if:
- the plot border crosses an imaginary line drawn between two or more faucet/hose stations
- the width of plot measuring from common path is more than 20' (10' if half plot) (measurement should include width of any non-common paths on a border shared with an adjoining plot)
- width of common path is less than 4 feet (one/both of the plots bordering path is probably encroaching)
If encroachment is less than a foot, common path is not unduly narrowed, and a permanent border (wood, brick, etc.) exists, then gardener should check with zone coordinator whether necessary to adjust before changing these permanent borders.
Tomato Tasting Results
Compare the taste and texture of tomatoes over the past years
SCG Web Site - New Feature!
If you have pictures you want to share on the Sunshine web site Sharon has created a new feature that will allow you to do this.
Navigate to the upload page to upload your pictures.
Go to the Gardener's picture page to see the pictures. Click to see a larger view of each picture.
Problems/Comments? Contact Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
The Garden That Gives Together By Zoe Erler, The Philanthropic Enterprise
Watch video of the March-in on March 5.
Courtesy Berkley Bettis
Updated Texas A & M AgriLife Vegetable Planting Schedule
Last year a new vegetable planting guide was published. Of note, tomatoes transplants can be planted the last week of February. Gardeners, watch the forecasts and plant at your own risk.
What Vegetables Grow Well Together
Many times I'm talking to fellow gardeners and am asked "Do you do companion gardening?" Well, yes and no. I subscribe to the theory that "If it tastes good cooked or served together, then it should be able to be grown together". My gardening neighbor tried to grow pole beans with onions on the outside of the beans and swore he'd never do that again because he did not get any beans. I do plant an overabundance of onions around my tomatoes and peppers, but only because there is empty space on the outside. By the time the onions are ready to be taken up (early-mid May), the tommies are just starting to go strong, so no energy is wasted growning the two together. Besides, alliums are supposed to be good bug repellants.
As I was searching for a particular webpage, I came across this article which explains in more detail the ins and outs of companion planting.
(If you come across an article you would like to share, please send the link and maybe an explanation or anecdote to email@example.com. Thanks.)
Pictures of Fall Transplanting
Video from the Plant Sale 2015 -- courtesy Berkley Bettis
Tomato Garden News
Many tomato varieties have been recommended for Central Texas gardeners. The tomato garden located by the entrance was established to evaluate various tomato varieties. Spring 2014 was the fourth year we have field tested tomato plants in the tomato garden. Each spring since 2011, eight tomato varieties have been grown or evaluated in the tomato garden. The tests are designed to determine the yield or production of each variety. Generally, tomatoes are allowed to remain on the vine until color is showing. Tomatoes from the test garden are donated to Micah 6 or Eastside Community Connection. Since 2011 over 4,500 tomatoes from the test garden have been donated.
During the first year of the test garden (2011), over 700 tomatoes were harvested from 24 plants of eight varieties. The Carmelita tomato plants yielded an average of 54 tomatoes per plant followed by La Rosa II with an average of 50 tomatoes per plant. Carmelita is a medium sized globe tomato. La Rosa II or LaRossa is a pear-shaped, paste tomato. A popular heirloom tested in 2011, Cherokee Purple, yielded an average of 14 tomatoes per plant.
In the spring of 2012, the 24 plants yielded over 1,300 tomatoes. The Viva Italia plants were extremely heavy producers averaging about 150 tomatoes per plant. Viva Italia is a pear-shaped, hybrid tomato. Arkansas Traveler yielded an average of 63 tomatoes per plant. Arkansas Traveler was developed in the 1970s and takes its name from an old heirloom that went extinct in the early 1900s. The plants yield a deep pink tomatoes weighing from 5-7 ounces.
The early high temperatures in the spring of 2013 negatively impacted the yield for the plants grown that year. Only a total of 376 tomatoes were harvested from the 24 plants. The three Bedouin plants yielded at total of 102 tomatoes, or 34 per plant, followed by Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye with 83 tomatoes, or 28 tomatoes per plant. Bedouin is a pear-shaped, dark red tomato originating in Eastern Europe. Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye is a port-colored beefsteak tomato developed at Wild Boar Farms in California.
For spring 2014, we planted five plants each of eight varieties. Plants were planted on March 22nd. Below are the varieties grown and the average number of tomatoes harvested per plants.
- Andes - average of 15 per plant
- BHN602 - average of 54 per plant
- Black Krim - average of 30 per plant
- Black from Tula - average of 32 per plant
- Cream Sausage - average of 78 per plant
- Early Girl - average of 107 per plant
- Flamme - average of 98 per plant
- Indigo Apple - average of 52 per plant
Overall, a total of 2,304 tomatoes were harvested. Black Krim and Black for Tula are heirlooms. Both yielded 30-32 tomatoes per plants. Black Krim and Black from Tula are both dark maroon beefsteak tomatoes from Russia. Flamme, or Jaune Flamme, is a French heirloom. Flamme is a small orange globe tomato. On average the Flamme plants yielded about 100 tomatoes each.
Early Girl is a medium size globe tomato, hybrid, reportedly producing earlier than other varieties. The Early Girl plants in the test garden didn't really produce "early" compared with other varieties. About 6% of the Early Girl tomatoes were harvested before June 1st compared with 22% of the Flamme tomatoes and 12% of the Black Krim tomatoes.
The Cream Sausage plants produced a large number of tomatoes during a short period of time. From June 7th through June 17th 225 tomatoes were harvested, or 57% of the total Cream Sausage tomatoes harvested. Cream Sausage is an elongated paste tomato that is cream in color. Cream Sausage tomato plants are short in height, about two feet tall.
Welcome to Sunshine Community Gardens' website
Please feel free to contribute recipes, hints, pictures, links, comments or anything else you feel that will help this website become a gardener's reference and home.
Send email to Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunshine's Compost/Recycling Operations
Do you want to recycle leaves, grass clippings, or vegetable kitchen waste? You are welcome to bring this material to Sunshine Gardens and deposit it in the appropriate clearly marked pile.
Please empty your collection containers (another opportunity, to recycle) for reuse.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept twigs, branches, or logs as we have no way to deal with them as nature cannot break them down quickly enough given our limited space.
Also, we can't accept florist waste. We try to subscribe to organic practices and avoid herbicides and fungicides and preservatives. We don't know what the flowers are treated with but if and only if, it contains none of the above then you are welcome to dump it in our compost pile.