Saturday, March 23, the Payson Community Garden will host the first of its free Saturday morning classes.
This week, Chris Jones will teach a class on Succession and Inter-plant Planting.
“You can learn how to plant for a spring, summer and fall harvest,” said Roger Kreimeyer, director of the garden.
Kreimeyer said 50 people attended the grand opening of the Payson Community Garden last Saturday, March 16. Fifteen plots were sold last weekend and the garden has 45 remaining.
“We’ve expanded this year to over 100 plots,” said Kreimeyer.
Each plot is six feet wide and 25 feet long. Gardeners must install their own drip system, but the organization provides soil and compost. Any extras, such as trellises or containers are the responsibility of the gardener.
Kreimeyer said the garden does have tools for gardeners to borrow.
“They are painted purple and we have a shed for them,” he said.
Because the garden is also a collective, 20 percent of all food grown by a gardener will be donated to the Payson Area Food Bank. Gardeners are also asked to donate time during the hours when the garden is open to monitor access to the garden.
Attendees on the opening day met the staff of the garden, learned the rules and regulations then had their first gardening class by master gardener Cathy Hicken.
Hicken explained how to use the Community Garden almanac that has information on how to lay out a garden, whom to contact for information, rules of the garden and other gardening tips.
One section of the almanac lists vegetable companions, allies and enemies.
Take the tomato plant, for example. It can happily grow next to asparagus, basil, bush beans, the cabbage family, garlic, head lettuce, marigolds, nasturtiums, onion, carrot, celery, mint, cucumber, onion, parsley and peppers.
The tomato plant’s allies are basil, marigold and nasturtiums.
However, its enemies — plants that hinder growth — include cabbage, dill, cauliflower, kohlrabi, fennel, pole beans, corn and potato.
“The almanac is part of the sign-up fee for gardeners,” said Kreimeyer.
Until the garden officially opens for planting the beginning of April, the staff volunteers are preparing the soil.
“We just received a donation of compost from Plant Fair Nursery. Everyone will get a free wheelbarrow to improve their garden,” said Kreimeyer.
The garden will only be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. through March. The garden will open for the rest of the days of the week in April.
The garden is closed every Sunday.
For information, or to purchase a plot, please call the Garden Administrator, Susan Williams at (928) 595-2805.