Member Duties

Watering

  • When to water. First thing in the morning if possible, or after dinner. Avoid midday when water will evaporate quickly and may scorch leaves. Where to water. You will be assigned specific beds to water; however, always check the soil to confirm whether and how much water they need. Some plants require more water than others: if parts of the bed seem dry and other parts wet, water accordingly. Always try to water at soil level and avoid the leaves. 
  • How much to water. Check soil before and after watering. Watering too much is both wasteful and harmful to the plants. Overwatering can reduce air flow to roots, wash away nutrients, and create an artificial water dependency. Watering too little encourages shallow root growth and weak plants.
  • Finger test. The easiest way to check moisture levels is to stick your finger down 3 to 4 inches into the soil, a few inches away from a crop. If your finger comes away dry, it’s time to water; if your finger comes away glistening wet, let the soil dry out; if your finger comes away just moist with a few flecks of damp soil, your watering is just right.
  • Keeping track. Please note on the work chart in the shed which beds you watered and which were left to dry out.
  • Please don’t let children play in/with the water. We wish we had enough water to allow this; we just don’t. There are a variety of toys kept on site in the dinosaur toy chest and in the shed, which children are welcome to use. They are also free to play and plant in the children’s garden.

Weeding

  • Pull weeds out by the root while disturbing the surrounding plants as little as possible. 
  • Dispose of the weeds in the paper yard waste bags located in the shed. 
  • If you're not sure whether something is a weed, email a pic to cornellcommunitygarden@gmail.com, or make a note on the worksheet in the shed.  

Thinning

Seedlings are usually thinned once they have 1-2 sets of true leaves. Most will be 2-3" tall by then and easy enough to grasp and pull.
  • Thin while the soil is damp to make pulling easier. 
  • For leafy vegetables, gently pull the unwanted plants one seedling at a time. Root vegetables may need to be cut at the soil line rather than pulling to avoid disturbing neighbouring plants. 
  • Thin in the evening to give the remaining plants a chance to adjust before being exposed to heat and sunlight.
  • In general, leave the anticipated size of the mature vegetable plus a couple of inches on either side (e.g., 2-3” apart for carrots and radishes).


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