Harlem

That’s a Wrap: Closing Down the Garden

By Seth Fera-Schanes

If I had to rate my garden this season it would be a solid 10 out of 10.  What can I say, I have a green thumb….  Or more likely the case, my neighbors helped guide me on what to plant, how to plant it, watering when I failed and generally making sure I had a great season.

And I think that’s the point.  My little garden in central Harlem is a real community affair.  Neighbors talk with each other.  They ask how each other’s days were.  Wait, wait.  Talking? Asking?  Genuine interest in your neighbor?  In New York?  No Way!

Well, yes way.  People from the block bring there kids and teach them about gardening, they freely offer advice and to watch a plot if someone is on vacation.  They also leave the garden gates open to all comers for 12 hours a day, everyday of the week.

I learned a few garden tips this year as well.

  1.  Planting multiple string plants will result in one large chaotic plant that engulfs everything else in your 4 x 4 patch.  Seriously, I couldn’t see anything below the bean leaves by the end.img_8118img_7248
  2. Once the weather cools a bit, you can plant some more lettuce.  Probably one of my favorite things to grow right now so it was a nice bonus.
  3. If you want to put in a pumpkin plant but the instructions call for 5 feet of spacing, you can put one in the corner of the garden and hope no one pulls it out.  Come to find out, they are more than happy to leave your sprawling plant alone (until some of the little mini pumpkins disappear in October.)  But that’s ok with me, it’s nice to give back. img_8115img_8114

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