Green Garden Dreams

The Joy of San Diego Vegetable Gardening

On August 27th, 2011, I went up to lend my hand at the building of a new community garden in Linda Vista.  Fifty five people showed up at the Bayside Community Center (2202 Comstock St. San Diego, CA 92111).  The Bayside Community Center teamed with Ford Eco-Challenge San Diego driver, Dave Cynkin, to build garden beds for the Linda Vista Community Garden. Here’s the story as it appeared on TV – NBC 7 San Diego.

I volunteered to help the cutting and laying of wire mesh since I had experience doing this for my own plot at the Golden Hill Community Garden. The photographer for the Linda Vista Gardens site caught me hard at work here.

Here’s the story in pictures (they are all my photos except for the links to the community garden’s Flickr page):

Before work started, we got the overall plan from Bob Greenamyer of Victory Gardens San Diego. By coincidence, the day I worked on this blog post (September 28), The San Diego Reader newspaper published a front-page article about replacing lawn with vegetable gardens, and Bob appears in the article on page 24:

Safety First

A big pile of mulch and shovels ready to go!

Mulch

Plots marked out on the lawn. They are going to make new garden plots right on the lawn using the “lasagne method”. This is where you where you lay down cardboard, then layers of soil and compost. The grass underneath dies for lack of light, and roots grow down through as the cardboard breaks down. Worms will eat the cardboard too! This constitutes grassroots soil building (pun intended) and getting some better use out of a lawn in a dry climate at it’s best.

Replace Your Lawn with Veggies

Lots of gardening tools piled up, ready to go:

Tools

Here we are rolling out the mesh over the cardboard. The wire mesh keeps out gophers. Chicken wire has holes that are too large, so you need to use wire mesh (1/4 or 1/2 inch):

Rolling out Wire Mesh to Keep Out Gophers

Here I am again. I dont’ know why they always shot me from behind, but that’s OK.

The bulletin board inside the community center:

The retaining walls that were needed on the canyon side:

Retaining Walls

Building a retaining wall:

Building a plot wall

Here you can see the mulch being spread. First we put just plain local soil on the cardboard, took the biggest rocks out of it, then put down layers of mulch and grass clippings. Over time, as water, plant roots, worms and microbes do their work, good soil will be created. A simple border was made with local rocks:

Lasagne Method of Creating a Garden Plot Over Lawn

Digging the plots (Phelan Reissen manning a pick ax – he’s my boss/partner from Digithrive, and can be credited with telling me about the event). The soil in San Diego can be pretty hard, as it’s full of clay, sand and rocks:

Watering some of the “lasagne” plots:

Watering a "Lasagne" Plot

Laying gopher mesh in the plots near the fence:

Laying Gopher Mesh in a Plot

Next: I’m hoping to visit the garden soon and get pictures of how it’s growing!

 

Links:
Linda Vista Gardens Blog

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