Nicholson garden put to bed for another season

The Nicholson garden has been cleaned up, cleared off and put to bed for another season.

The Nicholson garden project started some time ago with former teacher Jerilyn Yerkes and her father in 2016. Master gardeners were asked for help in reviving the garden on behalf of the students, and since then the garden has been enlarged, the herb garden became the strawberry patch, we added 4 new raised beds, and improved the watering system. The Master Gardener volunteers continue to support this as a community/club project with over 1,000 pounds of fresh produce harvested and donated to our local FISH food pantry this season and last.

This past spring Master Gardener volunteers helped the students plant the garden with potatoes, peas, tomatoes, pepper, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs and some very tall sunflowers! The students were treated to the sight of an abundance of swallowtail butterflies, lady bugs, and bees. An entomologist from Purdue conducted an urban bug study in the garden this summer to see what types of insects were attracted to small urban gardens.

This fall the students were able to be in the garden through the after-school program, Discovery Club, and help with some of the harvesting of the later crops.

Projects for the 2022 garden season include:

  • Soil improvement through a cover crop planting over half of the garden
  • Planting flowers in spring from seeds saved in fall 2021
  • Flower bulb observation by students in the Discovery Club
  • Garden supply purchases using donations from the Master Gardeners Fall Plant Exchange

Although the 2nd and 3rd graders at Nicholson have had limited time in the garden due to health concerns dictated by the pandemic, they are anxious to take on a bigger role for 2022.

Master Gardener volunteers will continue to teach, support and encourage the Nicholson students and their families in developing their gardening skills.

Hats off and thank you to all those who have made it possible for another successful year “in the garden”.