This winter’s record snowfall has finally melted off and the community gardens near Matt Knoop Park are starting to dry out. Gardens executive director Sloane Johnson says it’s too early to plant anything without a frost cover, but plot renters are welcome to come out and start conditioning their plot’s soil and pull weeds, because they’re already growing.
“Opening day is a day where we invite all our plot renters and actually anybody who wants to come to come to the garden,” Johnson said. “We’re going to have Biochar, John with Biochar. They’re going to be selling compost so people can get their garden beds ready for planting. I think it’s a little too early to plant a lot of things. You can get your peas in and your lettuces and make sure you have a frost cloth.”
Johnson said Biochar is a soil additive made of burned wood and because it’s so porous, it does a great job of keeping moisture in the soil.
With Park City’s frost date not until June 4, Johnson suggests using a frost cloth and only planting the hardiest cold crops. High altitude grow kits will be available for purchase on opening day.
“You can get lettuces going, start anything from the cabbage family, anything that’s really hardy will start growing,” she said. “Stay away from planting tomatoes, any peppers or anything from the squash family. That will freeze really easily and won’t do well this time of year.”
Coming this spring, Johnson says for the first time ever, the gardens will have its own water supply.
The gardens are currently hooked into Basin Rec’s water supply. Now a new connection will go in to provide more control over water access.
“That hasn’t happened yet. But it’s in the plan. So once all the snow melts in that area, and then the water level goes down, then they can dig and put our new water system in. So, we’ll be on our own water,” she said.
The drip system has been repaired and upgraded for the season and Johnson says they’ll provide continuous maintenance on the water line.
Also coming up May 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. is the annual blessing of the seeds for the La Milpa garden plot. Johnson says they are partnering with Artes de Mexico and have three workshops planned this summer to showcase indigenous values of gardening.