Gardening in Ottawa! A mini ecosystem guide :-)

These are the two that I am active in. The Brewer Park Garden is a small community and volunteer driven garden with raised beds allocated to the members living or working in the Ottawa South area. Having raised beds makes for easier gardening, the size of the beds is big enough to be able to grow quite a lot of stuff but not so big as to not be manageable by any one person as a gardening pastime.

The Kilborn Gardens are much bigger and closer to what you might find in Europe, being both City run and having a very strong membership,. Plots even become part of the family, so to speak, each little plot of land having its piece of history, crops, successes and failures. Kilborn is a challenge due to its heavy clay soil requiring lots of work every year to maintain, with each garden being a kind of test bed for different methods of dealing with the challenges faced. Straw and woodchips are in very big demand to cope with the wet conditions and provide long term mulch to add to the soil and improve its consistency and aerability.

This year spring has sprung really early. I have transplanted rhubarb from the small garden (Brewer) to the big one, but the soil is very wet and this may affect success of the transplant. Notice that I have placed weed barriers last year in an effort to prevent excessive weed intrusion. The fact that the Kilborn gardens are big and hard to work in means that a lot of gardens get left to go wild. This causes invasions of various weeds and pests every year. The results are always worth it but you do need to be there nearly every day during the growing season.

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