Preparing for the 2014 gardening year

The garden committee has met, and begun preparing for the 2014 season.  The planned calendar of events is now posted.  We have tried to mix up the “Weed ‘N Greets” on Wednesdays and Saturdays, based on gardener feedback last year, this will hopefully make it easier to fit into everyone’s schedules.  The Wednesdays happily correspond with the HCSA Farmer’s Markets, which should be a pleasant destination after some light weeding!

We ask you to confirm by March 1 that you intend to continue gardening with us for 2014 so that we can determine how many beds will be vacated. Once we have that information, we will advise by email those of you who are continuing which beds are available. Gardeners who wish to move should reply to the garden email site indicating their choice. Changes will be made to bed assignments in order of receipt. The remaining unrented beds will then be offered to those on the waiting list. If you know of anyone who is interested in joining the garden, please ask them to apply through
NOTE: Kick off meeting on March 29, 1:00 – 3:00 pm in the undercroft at St. Barnabas Church. Bed rental fees are due and agreements will be ready at this meeting, which gardeners (or their proxies) must attend.

Who’s Who in Our Communal Garden

Today was our first weed n’ greet meeting. In addition to pulling up unwanted plants around the garden and sprucing up the mulch, gardeners planted some new perennials and annuals into the communal beds around the garden. To help all our members make the most of these communal areas, here is a who’s who of the various communal beds!

Along the fence

The largest communal bed runs along the south fence between the community garden and the field belonging to the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Centre. This garden bed has multiple fruit trees (apple & cherry) trees as well as black currant bushes, nasturtiums and runner beans. You are welcome to pick from these plants, but please be mindful of sharing with others.

Perennial Herb Garden

The herb beds currently contain chives, garlic chives, sage. We hope to add rosemary, basil and parsley. You can help yourselves to help yourself to whatever you need, but again, please do not strip the plants as this is quite hard on them.

Main Perennial Vegetable Bed

This bed currently contains asparagus, rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes). Because this is the first year for the asparagus and rhubarb, we ask that you do not pick from them at all. Here are the growing instructions for these plants:

Rhubarb – rhubarb can not be harvested in its first season, and only lightly harvested in its second season. Stems should be pulled out, not cut. You must leave at least three stalks per plant for the plant to survive. Never eat the leaves.

Asparagus – these transplants are going to require lots of water while they get established, so please water them if you see the trenches that they are planted in looking dry. They can not be harvested at all for the first two years. It can take up to 7 years for a plant to get established. After a few years, though, a few stems can be harvested. Like the rhubarb, asparagus needs to have several stalks survive to feed the plant for next year. The committee will announce when it is ok to pick asparagus.

Sunchokes – These plants produce tubers which can be eaten like a potato. The committee will decide when they are ready to be dug up and harvested though email. It may be this fall or the next.

We hope you enjoy all the beautiful additions to the garden. Thank you so much to St. Barnabas and its parisioners for donating money & plants for the garden. Thank you to our community gardeners for all of their hard work in putting in the plants.

Learning Opportunity: Gardening 101 for Community Gardeners

The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Garden would like to invite community gardeners in our neighbourhood to participate in a workshop that we have organized through the Community Garden Resource Network. It’s called “Gardening 101 for Community Gardeners.” The workshop will be held at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Garden starting at 7:00 p.m., Monday, May 13.

The workshop is aimed at beginning gardeners, but ‘newish’ gardeners would also find the program worthwhile. The workshop leader is Janet Melrose, master gardener, Garden Animator for the Calgary Horticultural Society, and one of the leaders of the Community Garden Resource Network.

The cost is $10 per person.

The HSCG is located at Sunnyhill Lane and 9 Avenue NW. It’s below McHugh Bluff and just to the east of 4A Street NW and the Hollicky Community Orchard.

If you would like to attend, please email Richard Smith, HSCG Garden Leader

Programme: Approximate

  • ·        1 hour talk with demo’s
  • ·        ½ hour Q & A
  • ·        ½ hour participant activities: practicing reading seed packages, taking soil temperature;  seeding techniques and proper transplanting methods,

What will be covered?

  • ·        Calgary’s growing season for edibles – brrr!
  • ·        Soil needs – if the nutrients aren’t in the soil they aren’t in the food you grow.
  • ·        What to grow and when – and why
  • ·        Watering – needs of various plants and how best
  • ·        Weeding – the why’s, how and when to reduce the amount you weed
  • ·        Weather Protection – from rain, wind, hail and frost.
  • ·        Harvest- if you don’t eat it is a waste!


  • ·        Participants bring along a seed packet and a transplant or two plus trowel