A Davey Resources crew of five plus a couple of TNP volunteers arrived at Elm and Atlantic Street today and began planting more than 2000 “plugs” (baby plants). Even after the Warren Water Department broke up the soil it was still hard going with power augers. The work will require most of two days and should be completed tomorrow. Here are some random photos I took at the site.
Please join us at the Mocha House this Sunday, August 5th at 11:30 a.m. in the downstairs room for a brief update on our progress and next steps. We will keep the update to no more than 1/2 an hour; afterwards there will be a walking tour of the gardens for anyone who is interested.
Anyone interested in gregg’s gardens is invited to attend. It’s a great way to meet all the volunteers, sponsors and donors. We will not be hitting you up for money Sunday — just for your interest.
We hope to see you Sunday!
If you have driven by the soon-to-be garden lots on Atlantic Street and noticed that they are looking rather weedy again, please don’t be concerned as this is all part of the plan. The first Roundup spraying was intended to kill the “cold-weather weeds.” What is growing now are the “warm-weather weeds” and once they get nice and mature we will spray again.
According to Dave Riddle, our man at Davey Resources, this will “exhaust” the seed bank embedded in the lots and by this fall will give us a nice “neutral environment” in which to plant. That’s what we want because given an even chance our wildflowers and native plants will out-compete the weeds in these gardens.
Dave also told us that the work done by the Warren City Water Department to break up the ground in the Elm & Atlantic was effective and we should be able to plant there within a week; hopefully in time for our update meeting at the Mocha House on Sunday August 5th at 11:30. You are cordially invited.
We made the front page of today’s Youngstown Vindicator thanks to Warren-based reporter Ed Runyan.
We’re back on track at Elm and Atlantic thanks to Mayor Franklin, Bob Davis and their colleagues at the Water Department. When we last updated you we’d discovered that the lot was more akin to a Wal-Mart parking lot than a suburban back yard.
Two men leaning on a power auger couldn’t produce the six-inch holes we needed to plant the plugs, the dirt was that compacted, and there was no money in the budget to hire a crew and the equipment we needed to break up the ground to create a plant-friendly environment.
So we called the Mayor, who has supported us from the beginning, and asked for help. The Mayor talked to Bob, the head of the Water Department (with Matt Martin, below), and Bob, plus his colleagues David Sferra, Mike Thigpen and Russell Camp (on tractor below) took it from there.
Yesterday morning a Water Department crew came by the lot and in less than an hour transformed the hard pan into something we can work with. We will still need to add some top soil to the lot before we plant but we always knew that would be necessary. An added bonus was that the rains came just as the crew finished their work which should further soften the ground.
Just in case anyone is asking themselves why city tax dollars were supporting our work please consider two points: First, gregg’s gardens in general, and this garden in particular will benefit the entire community by making Warren a more beautiful place.
Second, the crew was not freed to help us for over a week because they were busy with several water line breaks. They only helped us once all critical city work was done, and even then they stopped by only after finishing a small job in the area. We had no advance notice and they were extremely efficient once they arrived, getting in-and-out very quickly. There was no shovel-leaning going on I can assure you.