October 2, 2019
Quick Hit Updates

No water?
If you are an early bird you may occasionally notice that water is not available. When this occurs, there are two alternate rain barrels located on the concrete pad next to the shed. Use the barrels to fill watering cans (available in the shed) using the spigot a the bottom of each barrel.

Note: If you turn on a garden spigot water does not comes out, please close the spigot anyway. If left open, the large tanks will drain through the open spigot versus refilling once the sun has risen high enough to power the solar well pump. The result is a still empty tank and flooded garden.

Children's Community Bed
Volunteers finished preparing, filling and seeding the kids raised bed, which is just to the west of the driveway. However there isn't a water spigot near the bed. 

Every time you are at the garden, PLEASE PLEASE fill a watering can and soak the seed rows in that bed. Roberta and all the intergenerational team will thank you forever! 

Spread the Word
In the event you have a message that you would like to share with the community, please submit it to vistagardens@gmail.com for publication in this newsletter.
How to plant winter crops
Saturday, October 12
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Lisa Meredith from UF will teach us how to successfully transplant and raise brassicas, which will help inform gardeners before they transplant their broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, collards, and kale. There will be two consecutive thirty-minute presentations - the first presenting basic information for beginning gardeners and the second presenting more detailed information for experienced gardeners.

Open House: Nature's Oak Wellness Center
Sunday, October 13
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
110 W . Country Club Dr.

Meet Tampa’s leading health and wellness experts and take
advantage of special offers. Benefiting VISTA Gardens

Save the Date: VISTA Gardens Intergenerational Event
November 16, 2019
Time: TBD

FOLLOW UP From Prior Education Sessions

Education: Nightshade Family Overview
Follow this link to learn more about successfully growing varietals from the nightshade family

Follow up: Corn and Potato Varietals
During a recent education session, there was a request for information about the types of corn and potatoes that grow well in our area.

Lisa Meredith sent us the following update:
Corn : White - How Sweet It Is, Sweet Ice; Yellow - Sweet Riser, Early Sunglow

Recommended Seed Company: Seedway in Lakekand and online. Plant in blocks, not rows for best results
Potato : White skinned potatoes -LaChipper, Sebago, Yukon Gold; Red skinned potatoes - Lasoda, LaRouge
Corn Meal - Nature's Stimulant
A few weeks ago an interesting article popped up on a community members Google feed about the beneficial properties of ground corn meal. Roberta did some additional research and decided, 'heck, let's give it a try' and ordered up a supply to make available to VISTA gardeners.

There are 10 bags available for a $4 donation per bag. Each bag has 2lb and should cover 60 - 100 sq ft. Roberta recommends working the cornmeal in around the plantings that are prone to blight, like tomatoes.

If you'd like to reserve a bag, please contact Karen ( click here ) or look for her when you are next at the garden.

If supplies run out you can look for a local whole-ground organic corn meal source or Roberta recommends this online provider: https://grainplacefoods.com/

Following is a quick excerpt and a link to the article that got this particular kernal rolling.
"Whole ground cornmeal should be used at 20-30 pounds per 1,000 sq ft as a deterrent to soil-borne plant diseases. It can be used as the primary bed prep material or mixed with any of the other organic amendments. It also works around existing plants as a disease fighter, mild organic fertilizer and soil builder." 
VISTA is home to many kinds of members... like Fred the Frog. He likes to hang out on a watering can. Thanks Jenn for sharing the picture!