There are three main gardens here at The Ranch:
Garden #1…behind the Duckee Building (yellow)…this is the smallest and the original vegetable garden here. It had the best soil of any of the gardens as it had been cultivated longest.
Garden #2:..this is the big garden between Kathryn’s house and 1430 32nd Street (yellow building) The soil here is pretty good and there are main raised beds in which the soil is very good. Most of these beds are on an automatic irrigation system.
Garden #3…at the north end of the parking lot on Hollis St. This is the newest garden and the one that has been cultivated least. However, now we’ve installed planter boxes and pathways, the soil in the planters is pretty good as people cultivate and use compost and other soil amendments there.
We have installed an irrigation system in several areas of Gardens #1, 2 and 3. The irrigation system is works best in Garden #2 . We are working on installing more automatic irrigation in the other gardens.
The water table (natural occurring underground water reserves) is very shallow here in West Oakland….in some spots 7-8 feet below the surface. Thus, trees once established do not need watering.
All watering should be done in the evening or late in the day. This allows the water on the surface of the ground to soak in and be absorbed by the roots of the plants. If you water in the day, in the sunshine, the water evaporates quickly and does little to help the plants.
Do not “sprinkle”…watering takes a little time, you are trying to get moisture to the roots of plants not spray their leaves! There are some plants which need spraying but they are rare and there are only very very few here…the staghorn ferns on Kathryn’s fence need to be sprayed. Spraying elsewhere is mostly a waste of water.
- The front of 3216 Louise St.
- The patio and roses along the side of Kathryn’s house.
- The front of 3209 Hollis St on the street side of the fence and around 3209 Hollis St…..we call this the “waste land” as it never gets watered. It needs water once a week…When leaves of roses turn yellow it usually means they are struggling and need some water. We have recently put some more roses in that area, they need to be watered, weekly. Others may have watered, if so, move on to another area…sometimes a tenant or someone will be inspired to do some watering, but we cannot depend upon that so The Crew….Joe, Kathryn, Patricia/Gael and Arnois need to know what’s up and pay attention.
- The area under the Apple tree in the center of the garden…the ground cover there needs to be watered once a week. The trees no so much as they are well established.
- The potted plants around the “bar”and elsewhere in the yards need water once a week.
- Garden #3: There is no irrigation system there but the pipes are there and irrigation can be set up. In the meantime, if you plant out there it will have to be hand watered. Talk to Joe or Kathryn about irrigation equipment and how to set it up.
- The cardboard here needs to be pulled up….put what’s left of it in the recycling, feed the slugs to the chickens. The soil needs to be turned over and possibly amended with compost or…? Worm juice?….
- I have no idea who’s planting what there….no communication thus far….we’ll see once the cultivation and weeding is done….Amy and Ariel will probably show up sometime to plant something.
- We’ve got tomatoes, onions, basil, squash, sweet peppers, eggplants and rotating peas planted…several “cycles” of peas and all kinds of spices.. Pick these as they ripen….Patricia/Gael please pick and use this stuff. Joe and Kathryn also are picking and using but we’ve planted WAY more than our three kitchens can use….
- The trees there are now well established and do not need watering.
- Joe will spray the trees as needed….if you notice leaf curl or other pests on the fruit trees, talk to Kathryn or Joe about these.
- The planters there are assigned to various people who we hope will grow things and keep the weeds down
- The roses and plants along the north fence need to be pruned occasionally.
- USE THE COMPOST BINS!….they will take a lot of green trimmings and convert it into useable good soil.
All: We have an ever-improving, wonderful garden and I am very very grateful for your help and attention to this very complicated, very beautiful garden. Many who live here and many who come here to visit remark on the beauty of this garden. I always tell whomever asks it is the beautiful gift of many hands, many people and it’s here for us to enjoy and use.