June 8, 2019
VISTA MATTERS: Closing Time, Prep for Fall
Order Fall Seedlings By June 15

While fall seems an eternity away gardeners must always be thinking ahead and planning for the next season.

The House of the Rising Seeds is actively preparing to start cultivating fall seedlings and need your orders for "Round 1" - eggplants, tomatoes and peppers - by June 15. The best way to ensure you have the seedlings you want this fall is to order them today. Round 1 seedlings will be ready in late August - mid September. Order details are in the article directly below.

Check out next weeks newsletter for "Round 2" seedling order options that will be ready for late September to mid October planting. Varietals include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard and kale.
VISTA Garden beds will be closed from July 1 - August 12.

Community events will resume in September!

AT A GLANCE

Notice: Landscape fabric and staples are available in the shed. Please cover your bed with one layer of fabric and use the staples around the edge to keep it in place. Several beds already have fabric in place and can be used as an example for proper installation.

TIP: When you shut down your bed, please do not use cardboard as a cover. In prior years, beds using cardboard ended up with large ant infestations that were a significant problem to eradicate. Say no to ants!
Fall Seedlings: Order Today!
The 'House of the Rising Seeds' is now taking seedling orders for eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. The seedlings will be ready in time for fall planting. Fact sheets for available varietals can be found by clicking on this link

A donation of $2.00 per seedling is requested to support the expense of growing seedlings and maintenance.

Limit 2 seedlings per varietal, per purchase. Only members with active VISTA bed rentals are eligible to order. Any order placed by a non-member will be cancelled. If you are unsure of your status, contact the Membership chair .

There are TWO ways to submit your order and donation:
  1. Use the new VISTA online store. Enter code 'SEEDSTORE' to access the page. You also may pay online using Paypal*.
  2. Order using the sign up sheet located in the shed. Place your donation in the black drop box next the order sheet. For safety, security and audit purposes, checks are preferred (made payable to VISTA Gardens).

Questions? Contact the HRS Chair.

*A $0.34 cost per seedling is added online to offset third party processing costs... ah, capitalism!
Welcome Kaitlyn - VISTA Summer Volunteer
We first met Kaitlyn this spring when she visited with a group from UT to learn about sustainability and now she is returning to volunteer with us this summer. We are thrilled to have Kaitlyn at the garden where she has already been a great help. This past Tuesday morning, she tended the Village Garden Club herb containers and replanted hanging baskets with succulents and then returned Thursday to help Marty weed VISTA garden rows. Today she was at the garden helping Morcie tend the children's shade garden. If you see Kaitlyn, please say hello... we are thrilled to have her with us!
It Bears Repeating: Six Simple Steps to Close Your Bed for Summer
Earlier this month, David Whitwam and Bill West hosted an education session covering the six easy steps to close your bed for the summer. Barb Mahlmeister graciously shared the following notes:

When closing your bed:
  1. Chop plants down to roots at soil level
  2. Don't water for at least two weeks- this is important for your future beneficial microbe health and production
  3. Then pull roots and shake them around the entire bed- you can also chop up the roots and bury them in your bed- they contain beneficial microbes!
  4. If your bed soil height is low, rake off the top mulch in the rows around the plots, remove the weeds, and then add as soil much needed. It's important that the soil in the rows around your plot is not above the wood. This will rot the wood and prevent drainage. Then replace the mulch
  5. Turn the bed and you can optionally work in worm castings, but do not add amendments
  6. Secure black landscaping cloth or nursery cloth over bed 

Tidbits:
  1. Make sure cloth is secure by placing heavy items on top, or using landscape staples. This important as it will help prevent weeds and protect the soil from nutrient loss
  2. It is not necessary to put mulch on top of cloth
  3. It is not necessary to sift the bed soil to remove roots, rocks, wood, but you can if you would like
  4. Ground cover is not recommended as it leaches nutrients from the soil