So many times, we fall into the trap of making an herb “section” of our garden and putting all the herbs together. We love this article we just stumbled across on companion planting herbs – or planting them alongside certain vegetable plants to yield a stronger, more productive garden.
When you companion plant with herbs, you can:
- increase yields
- repel pests
- encourage pollination
- provide shelter for beneficial insects
Learn how to use dill, marigolds, chives, basil, parsley, lavender, and rosemary for a stronger – and tastier – garden this summer: “Companion Planting with Herbs for a More Robust Garden” by Chris Dalziel on Attainable Sustainable.
2018 marks our third growing season at the Keystone-Monon Community Garden at Arsenal Park, and we invite you to grow with us!
Please visit our “Garden With Us” page for full details about the application process. You can also contact Christie and MaryAnna at KMCommunityGarden@gmail.com with questions.
What’s so special about the Keystone-Monon Community Garden? While growing our own fresh, organic produce brought us together, even more than that we are a community organization. We believe community gardens:
- Grow community strength and cohesiveness
- Normalize urban agriculture
- Provide a place to grow food and learn together
- Celebrate the power of people as we work to build knowledge, empower, and engage the full diversity of our community
- Increase neighborhood pride and beauty; decrease crime
- Build new connections among community members, increasing care and concern for others
If you are interested in growing your own food and getting involved in your community, join us in 2018!
You’re invited – and for four days only, you can save!
Adults 16+: $8 (Reg. $10)
Kids 8-15: $3 (Reg. $5)
Kids 7 and under: FREE
MORE ABOUT THE TOUR: On August 20 from 2-5pm, the Keystone-Monon Community Garden will host a garden tour highlighting FIVE amazing gardens right in our neighborhood. Keystone-Monon Grows is part neighborhood garden tour, part community gathering, part garden fundraiser, and ALL fun.
The event features a bicycle tour (automobiles also allowed) of three home gardens in the Keystone-Monon neighborhood, the community garden at Arsenal Park, and the gorgeous demonstration gardens at the IN State Fairgrounds – and free admission and parking for the last evening of the IN State Fair, thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center! We’ll meet the gardeners, tour their gardens, and learn more about the many unique ways people have launched their own growing spaces across our community.
Thank you for your support, and we’ll see you on Sunday, August 20!
Here in Central Indiana, there is one thing that is a near-certainty for every garden: the inevitable infestation of the squash bug. Each year it never fails: your summer squash plants are gigantic and producing like crazy. And then one day, you might notice a handful bugs. The next: a few more.
The next day? Your once-beautiful squash plant is crawling with bugs, and the entire plant has died, apparently overnight. Not only can they do a crazy amount of damage to squash plants, but they can also attack other cucurbit varieties (cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins).
Photos courtesy of University of Minnesota Extension
So what can you do about these evil little jerks? We decided to take a very scientific survey* to find out what area organic farmers and gardeners do to beat squash bugs into submission. Since this issue will likely befall your garden at some point, we thought we’d share everyone’s feedback here for future reference. Enjoy, and may your squash plants live long and prosper!
Tips for maintaining your squash plants – and sanity – against squash bugs, straight from Central Indiana farmers and gardeners:
- “So far its daily physical intervention, inspecting leaves, removing eggs, and adults, and treating with Diatomaceous earth around base of plants where they hide. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap with peppermint will work mixed with water and sprayed directly on insects. You can also use floating row covers early in season (you will have to pollinate yourself).”
- “I pull all leaves with eggs or midges on them and throw them in the trash. The chickens seem uninterested. I second, or third, the drowning them in soapy water method. Hand picking seems the best way.”
- “I recently purchased a book called “The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener.” The author, Tammi Hartung, is great and one of the ways she suggests repelling squash bugs is to sprinkle black pepper around the plants. I haven’t done this yet but did spray the plant with neem oil mixed with dish soap. That has helped.”
- “I have a spray bottle filled with soapy water and cayenne pepper and spray the leaves. So far it’s kept them off this year. If I find one I just squish it. Same with the eggs.”
- “Transplant as early as possible is my tip. Squash bugs are inevitable.”
Have you had issues with squash bugs? What’s your favorite method of saving your plants?
*”Very scientific” means we asked our Facebook friends – but, hey, many of them are organic farmers and gardeners with extensive firsthand squash beetle experience.
We are THRILLED to invite you to Keystone-Monon’s FIRST neighborhood garden tour! “Keystone-Monon Grows” will be part neighborhood garden tour, part community gathering, part garden fundraiser, and ALL fun. TICKETS ARE LIMITED, SO ACT FAST!
WHEN: Sun., August 20 from 2-5pm
WHAT: The event will feature a bicycle tour (automobiles also allowed) of several home gardens in the Keystone-Monon neighborhood, an insider’s look at our new community garden at Arsenal Park, and a tour of the gorgeous demonstration gardens at the IN State Fairgrounds. The tour will end with FREE admission to the last day of the IN State Fair, thanks to our presenting sponsor, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center.
We can’t wait to see you!
All the best,
The Keystone-Monon Community Garden coalition
This morning, we were lucky to have a visit at the garden from Kevin Allison, urban soil specialist with the Marion County Soul and Water Conversation District. Kevin is a wealth of knowledge, and we are looking forward especially to doing some fun things with cover crops this fall at the garden, using his guidance and expertise.
Yes, we get excited about things like cover crops around here. Hey, they are really cool! Cover crops = happy soil = happy plants = less work for us = more delicious veggies.
Kevin also had a really great, really simple tip for our gardeners and anyone growing their own produce: add a light layer of straw to any exposed soil in your garden. As your seeds and seedlings go in the ground, the straw keeps moisture from wicking out of your soil and has a moderating effect on soil temperature. Both of these things limit stress on your plants, make your life easier, and help your plants focus their energy on growing awesome produce for you and your family. It also adds more organic matter to your soil.
And as temperatures broke 80 degrees here in Central Indiana, conserving water and protecting plants from heat will be increasingly important!
Kevin will be leading a FREE educational workshop, “Healthy Soil, Healthy Garden,” for us in conjunction with the seed library at Glendale Public Library on Sunday, June 11 from 3-4pm. Please come geek out over soil health with us!
The countdown to our Spring Seedling Sale and Seed Giveaway begins! One week from today, we will be selling close to 200 beautiful seedlings for your garden. All proceeds benefit the garden, which is a completely volunteer-, donation-, and community-driven endeavor.
Join us at Indy Urban Flea, pick up some seeds, buy your seedlings, and have a pint at Centerpoint Brewing! Did we mention $1 from every pint sale goes to the garden, too?
Yeah, our city is pretty rad.
WHAT: Seedling Sale, Seed Giveaway, and Garden Meet and Greet
WHEN: Sunday, April 23, 10am-4pm
WHERE: Indy Urban Flea – Circle City Industrial Complex, 1225 Brookside Ave., Indianapolis
Download a flyer to share here.