Soil Amendments

Hi Gardeners!

This year, the garden board approved the purchase of some soil amendments for each gardener to use. This will help the garden as a whole in addition to gardeners individually.

I will unnecessarily remind you that these amendments are provided for all gardeners, so please just take what you need, and not more than that, to ensure that everybody gets some. If we have some left over for next year: awesome! It doesn’t lose potency.

We bought three dry nutrients:

  • BrixBlend Basalt
  • Fish Meal
  • Kelp Meal OG

And one liquid

  •  Fish Hydrolysate with Kelp

I am going to put a physical instruction sheet in the shed as well, but I wanted to put it here as a resource on how to us these amendments.


BrixBlend Basalt A paramagnetic stone powder from the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts for remineralizing and enhancing the general foundational fertility of the soil. This pure basalt powder contains 49.3% silicon dioxide (SiO2), 13.3% aluminum oxide (Al2O3), 9.2% calcium oxide (CaO), 5.7% magnesium oxide (MgO) and many other trace minerals.

How to use:  for a standard sized plot (32SqFt), use approximately 1lb mixed with compost, or sprinkled on top & lightly raked in. Apply any time. 

Fish Meal:

A byproduct of catfish farming in Mississippi, put through a hammermill to produce flowable particles that pass easily through a drop spreader or planter. No stabilizers or additives. Doesn’t smell bad (for fish meal) and handles extremely well. Once in the ground it does not continue to smell. Excellent source of nitrogen and phosphorus. Use as a sidedressing or mix into compost to provide added nitrogen and a bacterial boost.

How to use:  for a standard sized plot (32SqFt), use approximately 1/4cup with compost, or sprinkled on top & lightly raked in. Apply any time, but best in fall & spring to build soil. 

Kelp Meal:

Kelp Meal OG Dried and ground seaweed contains trace minerals, enzymes and amino acids. An excellent source of naturally chelated elements. Brassicas respond well to it. 

Added to animal feed, kelp provides dozens of chelated trace minerals, 12 vitamins and 21 amino acids, although mostly in concentrations too low to serve as the only source of micronutrients. Be sure to feed a well-balanced mineral premix as well. Kelp is an excellent source of iodine and vitamin A. Enthusiastically sought by livestock: I remember visiting a local farm several years ago where a loose goat followed me into the house so that she could stuff her head into the open bag of kelp sitting in the mudroom. Feed free-choice or mix in at 1–2% of total ration.

Harvested off the coast of Maine and processed at North American Kelp in Waldoboro, where they dry the live plants quickly at low temperatures for optimal preservation of nutrients. Certified organic.

How to use:  for a standard sized plot (32SqFt), use approximately 1/3lb. mixed with compost, or sprinkled on top & lightly raked in. Apply any time. 

Fish Hydrolysate with Kelp

Bring your own spray bottle: this stuff is applied to the leaves! 

Hydrolysate with Kelp (2-5-0.2) 90% fish hydrolysate and 10% liquid kelp concentrate provides both the N, P & K of fish and the micro-nutrients and growth hormones of kelp. Can be used as a foliar feed, in drip irrigation and for better seed germination and seedling growth. Improves plant vigor and stress resistance, increases storage life.

How to use: 2–3 Tbsp/gal water for foliar spray.  Note: For a standard-sized spray bottle, use about 1 tablespoon & fill up.

Refresh Yourselves of Contract Agreements

Refresh Yourselves of Contract Agreements

Hi Gardeners!

I just want to quickly remind you of our garden rules, namely that one should NEVER enter another person’s plot boundary without their express permission, or the permission of the Garden Manager.  It’s a violation of a resident’s space and of the contract to which you agree each year.

It may seem like a stringent rule, but the reasons for it are obvious once it’s been considered.

  • You don’t know what’s going on with that plot. It could have been reassigned and replanted.
  • There is a never-ending waitlist for spots at our garden.
  • Weeds are an opinion: You don’t know all the plants, ever, so what could look like a weed may not be.
  • Maybe that gardener REALLY LOVES purslane. Or RASPBERRIES.  (Raspberries outside the garden fence are up for grabs, but please leave plot raspberries to their residents.)
  • It sets a precedent that it’s okay to take over a plot that isn’t “tended” (reminder: it is not)
  • You wouldn’t like it if it were done to you.
  • Violating the contract rules is grounds for your removal from the garden.

Please don’t put your hands in other peoples’ plots. If I find out about it, I’ll take it to the board, and they’re not very flexible about this rule.


Mo., July 25 / Free Compost

Mark your calendars: we’re looking to have a midsummer extravaganza in ten days!

a) Potluck
b) Birdhouse making
c) Board Meeting
Let’s get the garden ready by weeding, weeding, oh, and hey: Norma wrote me last night to tell us this
The Northern compost pile, center slot , compost is ready for the taking! This compost will be acidic, so amendments may be needed, but it looks quite finished. Let’s disturb the rats! The front of the center bin is open, and a screen and cart are in front of it.  Free for the taking!
There are some soil amendments in the shed, too. I’ll work on a guide to how to use them.
Last thing: “torrential” thunderstorms are forecast for tonight’s garden hours. I live close, so I’ll keep an eye, but if it’s anything more than fog/mist or very light rain, I won’t be there.

A Fine Howdy-do!

Hello Gardeners!

I hope you’re all enjoying this amazing weather today. It’s a perfect time to get out and weed, or plant, or sow new seeds, or transplant or spread wood chips or weed, or weed around plots, too!
I did a walk-through the garden last night and only found a handful of neglected plots, two of which I’m not totally sure are neglected, but have been notified.  I did want to remind you of a few courtesies, especially if you’re new to community gardening.
Please remember that you are obligated to

  • put 2 hours each month into the garden itself, and not your plot. That means weeding around edges, spreading chips if we have them, watering community areas, etc.
  • keep your plot tidy and tended by staking up your trailing plants so they don’t grab onto someone else’s plot; by weeding your plot, then mulching, so that weeds don’t easily spread to your neighbor’s plot; by ensuring that you do not shade your neighbors’ plots by accident, or at least talking to them about your plans if you have something tall to grow.
  • use trash cans for trash only, i.e. no organic material in trash cans (put organic material in brown bags and leave near the trash cans
  • keeping all common areas safe from objects either poking out of your plot or in the walkways.
I’m hoping to organize a garden meeting pretty soon, but if you have anything you wanna chat with me about, I’ll be at the garden tonight at around 5:30.  Bring gloves and come weed with me!

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