News from

The ag dept

By Marilyn Friedman

Picture this: strolling through

meandering paths, enjoying

the unique landscape and it's right here on campus. Well, that's the plan. We have a little over an acre behind the Greenhouse that we are hoping to turn into a lovely and instructional demonstration garden. It's coming along, slowly but surely. The main roads are in, the major water lines are in and there are even a few areas already planted. This last spring, under the direction of one of our part time instructors, Gregg Young, we put in a small (32 semi-dwarf trees) orchard that include pears, apples, peaches, plums, nectatines and cherries. As these trees begin to mature, we will be able to instruct students about various methods of pruning, grafting, espaliering, watering, and pest management. We also have a small vineyard with 20 very old Zinfindel vines that we have been rejuvinating and we actually sold our tiny crop this last fall. We have now interplanted these vines with a Rhone varietal named Morvedra. As these vines develop, we will be able to use them for instructing students on pruning, grafting and growing techniques. We also have a 6,000 square foot area designated for a high yield, organic vegetable garden. Last summer we were able to grow out many of the varieties of vegetables that we will have available at our SPRING PLANT SALE (MAY 3 & 4) and see how they perform in our area. This spring we hope to do more extensive planting in those beds. Also new this year, we installed 4 stock rows (our terminology for the rows where we can grow plants in containers under automatic watering). Our plans for next fall include beginning work on an area we are calling a California Garden that will have those swell pathways for you to stroll about enjoying and learning.

MARCH GARDENING TIPS: Since it's raining while I'm writing this it reminds me to tell you NOT to start digging in your garden when the ground is real wet, that will make the soil form big clods when it dries out. You can, however, easily pull weeds while the soil is still soft and moist. If it has dried out some by now, you can plant cool-season vegetables like beets, carrots, lettuce, peas and radishes. You can also get a head start on your garden now by starting seeds indoors on a bright windowsill now for planting in the garden April/May. This is a good time to feed early-flowering shrubs, roses, berries and lawns some nitrogen. Speaking of lawns, you can rake bald spots vigorously, and seed, then sprinkle a bit of well-sifted soil or compost over to keep the new seed moist and anchored and out of birds mouths.

Copyright Mendocino College Eagle 1995 Permission granted to use articles if source is cited

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Last Update: 3/23/96