Shady Gardens by “Mark Mason”

Garden description: Suburban nature landscape with a mix of vegetables, native plants and shrubs, fruits, and ornamentals.
Who are the gardeners: Mark is a psychologist who finds solace, refuge and social connections with others through gardening. Hes learned from listening to Mike McGrath, Doug Tallemy, and Margaret Roach about the importance of organic gardening and creating places for nature in our suburban landscapes.
Why do you garden: Watching nature grow and develop, beauty, activity, and mindfulness.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Place for reflection, simple life, meaning, refuge and solace when there has been so much traumatic stress.
What do you have in your garden? Lettuce, peas, radishes, chard, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, canteloupe, squash, zucchini and corn with some blueberries, pears, apples, blackberries, figs and more!
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Organic gardener who relies on manual labor and sweat. On occasion I use organic options such as bt to combat white cabbage moth caterpillars…


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Ein Eschengarten (One Ash Tree Garden) by “Nikki Testa”

Garden description: There is a single ash tree smack dab in the middle of our backyard that provides the best shade on hot, summer days. Though, I like to say you could graze in the four corners. Besides the established raised vegetable beds, I have intermixed flowers, plants and edibles to create diversity and aesthetic appeal, and of course, to maximize utility in the sunny spots. Each spring is an adventurous journey in figuring out what works best where to create a functioning oasis.
Who are the gardeners: Just me and the bees.
Why do you garden: Stress release and enjoyment.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Gardening has truly been a life saver this spring. I assisted directly in supporting efforts to minimize the impacts from Covid-19 within the state. I was still required to go to work but with extended hours while finishing out a semester of college coursework. This year’s garden provided me the opportunity to clear my head and focus on more positive things. Trust me, there were several upgrades to the gardens this spring, including a new raised bed that may be converted to a greenhouse for the colder months.
What do you have in your garden? I typically grow the standard vegetable garden fare; tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, chard and peas (which I always eat before they can make it into the house). I have a wonderful gift exchange with a neighbor who trades homemade wine for my tomatoes. There are several containers of various herbs that may be found closer to the house. Also, each year I try a new veggie to see how well it will grow. This year I am trying collared greens.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Since I do not use pesticides or other chemicals, I do have an issue with pests. Typically, I may be be found picking off insects. I have to cage off tender plants and sprinkle cayenne in a constant battle with the over abundant squirrel population.

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Linda’s Vegetable Garden by “Linda Huerta”

Garden description: My husband built me this beautiful garden space! It’s well protected from the little bunnies that venture into the yard and a large Husky dog that doesn’t understand the word “no”. I’m a novice at gardening, so this is a big step for me. Hopefully throughout the growing season, this garden will supply us with lots of produce, so that we can share with our neighbors!
Who are the gardeners: It’s just me…Linda Huerta
Why do you garden: Fresh vegetables ARE THE BEST! Nothing tastes as good as a juicy tomato just picked from the vine!
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Gardening has definitely kept me busy. I really enjoy being outside, in the fresh air. And the benefit of just picked produce can’t be beat! Sharing with neighbors is a big plus too!
What do you have in your garden? Linda’s vegetable garden has an assortment of veggies and herbs. Some I started from sowing seed directly into the ground and others I bought as plants. What is growing now (June 13th)….The herbs…parsley, rosemary, oregano, chives, cilantro, and dill. The vegetables are tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, kale, eggplant, beans, beets, peas, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini and peppers.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? I had a small problem with bugs putting small holes in the eggplant and beans. Looked up on line….some type of beetle. Treated the plants leaves with a mixture of diluted rubbing alcohol and dish soap. Waiting to see if this dies the trick. I don’t like to use any type of chemicals or pesticide.

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