Rain stops work, to protect Promenade soil

Cleome (Spider Flower) in front of burgundy Solenostamen coleus. All photos by Koren Volk

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Promenade Garden volunteers were a little disappointed when the rain on Tuesday morning forced Matthew Morrow, community coordinator and gardener, to cancel this week’s scheduled volunteer session. But why? What’s a little mud between friends? Isn’t rain good for the plants? What if we walk on our tiptoes? 

Working the soil when it is wet destroys the structure of the soil, resulting in clods of hard dirt that are difficult to break down. Soil structure is important; it allows air and water move through the soil. Once the structure is destroyed it takes additional organic matter, proper tillage and winter freezing and thawing to break the soil particles apart naturally and restore the soil’s structure.

How can you tell if the soil is too wet to work? Grab a handful of it and squeeze it. If water drips out, it is much too wet. Now push your finger into that same handful of soil; if your finger leaves an indentation, then the soil is still too wet. The soil should crumble when you stick your finger into it.

And no, walking on tiptoes doesn’t work. 

Follow the Promenade Gardens Conservancy on Facebook and on Twitter @PromenadeGarden

A lively variety of Solenostamen coleus at the Pierrepont entrance.

Cleome (Spider Flower) and Solenostamen coleus in front of the bright variegated ornamental grass.

Chelone lyonii (Hotlips Turtlehead) is just getting ready to bloom. Can you find it in the Promenade Gardens?

The Pineapple Street entrance has the best display of Helianthus (Sunflowers) and Rudbeckia (Black-eyed susans).

Asters, the small daisy-like flowers, come in a variety of hybrids and colors. They bring delightful color to gardens in late summer and autumn when many other summer bloomers are starting to fade.

August 15, 2013 - 11:30am



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