Hot days help garden plants thrive

Apprentices Kendra Still and Kildem Soto assemble tomato trellises with Garden Steward Emma Wilson.

Apprentices Kendra Still and Kildem Soto assemble tomato trellises with Garden Steward Emma Wilson.

By Erika Longino, Sustainability Resource Center

In the hottest June on record for Salt Lake City, the gardens have been growing heartily. Many thanks to our dedicated volunteers and apprentices who have been sweating to make it happen with us! Kale is leafing out like gangbusters, chard and beans are on their way, and the summer squashes are growing faster than we can harvest them! While the gardeners have been converging in the cooler mornings and evenings to work, the plants have been thriving through the summer heat.

Last week, some cool kids joined our hot effortswe hosted three groups of Club U campers for work sessions at the gardens. Ranging in ages from 5-12, the children were thrilled to be in the gardens and performed incredibly well considering the garden tools were way too big. Many gallons of bindweed were stripped from the produce beds, paths were mulched enthusiastically, and fresh samples were lovingly plucked and consumed over the course of the week.

Club U students help pull weeds at the Pioneer Garden.

Club U students help pull weeds at the Pioneer Garden.

The work at the gardens is never over, and we love participation. If you have free time this week, we will be doing all of the following:

  • Installing hand-built tomato trellises
  • Setting up garden-wide irrigation systems
  • Mounding soil for vertical potato structures
  • Transplanting watermelons
  • Establishing new beds on the South side of the Pioneer Garden
  • Mulching, mulching, mulching
  • Harvesting garlic

Our garden apprentices are progressing through the curriculum, and we are accepting rolling applications for the program. Email uofucampusgardens@gmail.com for more information. Or, sign up for our weekly updates, which include volunteer opportunities.

Erika Longino is a garden steward with the Sustainability Resource Center’s Edible Campus Gardens.

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