Andover Community Garden

Our mission is to educate our members about organic gardening and to provide opportunities to them so that they can grow and harvest vegetables, herbs and flowers within a welcoming community setting.

Garden plots are open to all residents of Andover and surrounding towns who join our Association. Plots that are turning over are offered yearly to people on the waiting list on a first come, first serve basis. This process begins about March each year and runs though until we are full, usually by May. For 2022, all plots have been taken. If you are interested in signing up for a plot in 2023, please fill in this form.

Each Association member contributes an annual plot fee to cover maintenance. To be part of our association, you must be willing to agree to our requirements. These are fairly standard rules for community gardens, with requirements such as gardening organically and participating in workdays and cleanups; and we do try to help new folks with this request by giving lessons/ideas for how to garden organically. Once rented, you plant up your plot, harvest and maintain your own plot for your own family’s use during the gardening season.


All gardeners are expected to participate in workdays for at least 12 hours over the course of the season. You can pick and choose from the monthly workdays or sign up for mowing or weed-whacking here.


August 20th Community workday

September 17th Community workday

October 29th Closing day


Garden Managers

High Plain Garden:Your garden managers are: Yolanda Chico Miller, Lauren Conoscenti, Lisette Pylant, Jane Ward and Viki Vasquez. Viki and Jane are your plant gardening gurus. All other problems (general questions, hoses, water, locks, vacation, etc.) should be raised with your other three managers or the help line: help@andovergarden.com.


Announcements

Viki's Advice Corner for Midsummer

Hello everyone. I hope folks are starting to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of their labor. Here are some current things happening:

Garlic I have noticed many people now grow garlic and onions. Harvest time for garlic is when half the leaves on the stalk have turned brown. This means active growth for the bulb is done. The whole cloves can be immediately eaten (milder taste) or “cured.” To "cure" garlic so that they last much longer, leave the dirt on the bulb and place in a cool, dry, ventilated spot for about 2 weeks. As for onions, the greens will flop over and start to yellow. Cure these the same way as garlic for use later in summer/early fall.

Lettuce, green peas, etc. Most crops that were sown in May have been spent by now. They can be pulled up and replaced with other short season crops. For example, lettuce can be replaced by radishes, carrots, chard, bush beans, or beets. Check Resources for more tips on what can be grown midsummer and how to be successful. Don’t forget to add compost or a slow release, organic, balanced fertilizer (e.g. 10-10-10) to the soil where the harvest is finished.

Blood meal Before the end of July, it will be time to add the second dose of nitrogen in the form of blood meal. You should have product left over from the first application at the start of the season. Smaller plots need 1- 1/2 lbs scratched into the soil; larger plots need 2 lbs.

Pests Unfortunately, our bountiful crops attract bad bugs that feast on our beauties. The most recent observed varmints are: flea beetles, cucumber beetles, potato beetles, Japanese beetles, and squash bugs. Please check our Pests and Treatments sections. Also there’s a quick bug/ caterpillar reference on a laminated card in the shed. As a cross reference you may need to google “garden insects” to get better identification photos.

Watering We are officially in a moderate drought. Our type of soil is very sandy so it doesn’t hold moisture when it is hot, dry, and windy. It is essential we use proper watering techniques. We are stewards of the earth (sorry for the soapbox) therefore we are obligated to minimize wasting water.


Some ideas: water deeply and less frequently; purchase a water meter you stick in the soil to determine how much moisture is present below the top inch; mulch any bare soil as well as around the base of plants with extra layers of compost or dried grass clippings, straw or salt mash hay. Some people have already placed landscape fabric in their plot which allows water through but lessens evaporation. These methods will also decrease the need for weeding if bare soil is covered.

Smile and enjoy the miracles of nature.


What's Growing Now

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High Plain Road Garden

The main garden is located on the Virginia Hammond Reservation, on High Plain Road across from the leaf composting site. The site has 65 plots:

4 feet x 10 feet plot: $34

4 feet x 20 feet plot: $68

5 feet x 10 feet plot: $42.50

5 feet x 25 feet plot: $106.25

There is a small parking lot with some allowance for parking on the grass when it is full. It usually accommodates most cars at a given time and the grass parking can be used on workdays.

Main Street Garden

Nestled behind the Andover Center for History and Culture at 97 Main Street, this smaller garden has 11 plots of two different sizes:

5 feet x 20 feet plot: $85

5 feet x 10 feet plot: $42.50

In downtown Andover the parking is tight. There are a few spaces located adjacent to the Andover Center for History and Culture and on the street in front of it. Paid parking is available in the town lot just up from the site, beside UBurger.