By Erika Longino, Sustainability Resource Center
As the sun came out this week, we flexed our carpentry muscles and assembled some fabulous tomato trellises. These kinds of vertical structures make the best use of the limited garden space and accommodate the audacious tomato’s need to grow vertically. With the support of the structure, the gardens will be able to facilitate the most willful and wily tomato plants!
By growing more crops vertically we can dramatically increase the amount and diversity of the food we produce. There are more trellises to come. We have prepared posts to install permanent cane fruit beds on the south side of the Pioneer Garden. Cane fruits include raspberries, blackberries, and other berries in the genus Rubus. Most varieties need structural support in order to thrive.
In addition to our vertical expansion, we have been getting many plants. Squash, peppers, beets, carrots, cilantro, and so many more have been happily settling their roots into the dirt. There is something powerful about extracting a small plant from a pot, squishing the roots just a bit to liberate them from their too-small homes, and introducing them to new ground where they can grow into maturity. We have been also smothering weeds with used cardboard salvaged from the street cleanups in order to build soils and make room for our many seedlings.
Sometimes gardeners are carpenters. Sometimes they are plant midwives. And sometimes, when they mulch with used cardboard, they find themselves unintentionally part of the “Destiny Committee” (see photo).
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Erika Longino is a garden steward with the Sustainability Resource Center’s Edible Campus Gardens.