Community gardens seeking more horticulturists

Estevan Community Gardens is getting set for the new season, but they still have two beds available for new community members.

Shayna Burrell, one of the gardeners who helps to keep the process organized, said it might be a bit early for some people, but with seeds being out in the stores for a while now and going pretty fast, they hope to find someone to take care of open beds soon. All it takes is $30 per bed and a couple of member meetings that people would need to attend to be on the same page with other gardeners.

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Outside of that, members can manage their gardens at their own style and pace.

Usually in southeast Saskatchewan, people don't start their gardens before the Victoria Day long weekend, but this year with an early spring, Burrel said that some gardeners may decide to start a bit earlier.

"But you always risk frost and the ground being too cold for anything to germinate, so you have to see what the weather does," Burrel said.

Members need to bring their own gardening tools. The garden shed will once again be closed due to COVID-19 safety measures, so people will need to take their tools home.

The water is available at the site at any time. The fee for beds covers the water expenses. Burrel said that the last two seasons they were lucky to have Estevan Fire Rescue Service and Steam-Est donating the water, but they still have to make sure that if they need to pay for it themselves, they can do so.

There are currently 18 raised beds at the Estevan Community Gardens. They applied for and received a government grant to start replacing the beds that started degrading. Burrel said that they will stick to the same number of beds, but they are also looking into doing some in-ground garden beds. However, they won't proceed with these plans until next year.

"We're still working on the logistics of doing the in-ground beds, we're going to do some ground testing just to make sure that it's safe to plant vegetables there first. And if that's a go-ahead, we'll probably talk to Rod March (manager for parks and facilities for the City of Estevan) either this fall or next spring about digging up the ground," Burrel said.

The members' meeting is scheduled for April 14. Anyone willing to get a bed can go to Estevan Community Gardens’ Facebook page or email them at estevancommunitygardens@gmail.com.

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