Construction on the first two phases of the SmartGarden is almost complete! Shortly after the May 2015 groundbreaking, installation of the two rain gardens and a dry creek located in front of the library was completed. The rain gardens will help to slow water runoff and allow the water to infiltrate efficiently into the surrounding area. Members of the public helped with part of the garden installation during the June 13 Rain Garden Workshop. The nine volunteers filled the garden with a compost/sand mixture, laid down river cobble in the creek, and planted the area with drought tolerant native plants. After the whole garden was planted (some plants donated by Green Jeans Garden Supply and CNL Native Plant Nursery), a drip irrigation system (donated by John Ossa on behalf of Rain Bird Corporation) and rain gutters were installed.
Within the next few weeks the 500-gallon rain tank will be delivered and connected to the rain gutters on the back of the building so we can begin collecting water for use in our upcoming garden projects. This coming September new signage will be installed in the garden. Various signs will provide information on the different design elements incorporated in the garden and assist visitors on self guided tours. The final phase of the SmartGarden installation will be to complete construction of an ADA compliant pathway, a bioswale to direct water through the garden, and expansion of the existing crescent-shaped rain garden area.
Over the course of the summer many great classes and workshops are available to help you become a better gardener! Summer classes include:
Sheet Mulching Workshop: Build Healthy Soil, Kill Weeds and Save Water | Saturday, July 18th, 10:00am
Learn the basics for sheet mulching: cardboard, compost and mulch. A technique designed for replacing lawns, covering up dirt or just a weed patch. It builds healthy soil, saves water and recycles resources.
GardenSmart: Water-Wise Gardening 2.0 | Saturday, July 25th, 11:00am
Come and learn how you can meet the challenges presented by new water restrictions and still keep your garden going. Claire Splan, author of California Fruit and Vegetable Gardening and California Month-by-Month Gardening, will discuss watering techniques, drought-tolerant plants and hydrozoning, lawn alternatives and more.
GardenSmart: Worms – The Hardest Working Pet You Will Ever Have | August 15th, 11:00am
Have a lot of food scraps? Live in an apartment? Worm composting is for you! This hands-on workshop will teach you the benefits and uses of worm compost. Class members will set up their own bin and learn about harvesting and best uses for this garden fertilizer. Everyone will go home with a worm bin full of worms. Registration is limited to 20 so sign up now!
Gardener’s Exchange | Saturdays at 10am
Do you have too many beans and not enough tomatoes? Bring your garden bounty to the Peter Dreyfus garden at the Library on Saturdays at 10am and exchange produce, seeds, seedlings and garden stories with your Mill Valley neighbors.
Check out some new books added to the collection this month highlighting various gardening methods that you can utilize to make the most of your own backyard.
Thinking about composting? Then this book is a must read! Louie makes the somewhat complicated subject of decomposing organic materials accessible for even amateur gardeners. Compost City provides detailed information on various methods of indoor and outdoor composting. From worm bins to tumblers, this book will help you choose the best composting system for your space and lifestyle.
While biodynamic gardening sounds complex, it is simply the process of creating healthy soil and plants by “reconnecting with seasonal cycles and natural rhythms.” This book clarifies the different techniques that make up biodynamic gardening and beautiful color photographs accompany the step-by-step instructions.
There are many benefits to growing hydroponically, principally the ability to grow plants year round with a higher yield per unit area. With Hydroponics for the Home Grower you will learn about the numerous hydroponic systems, the nutritional demands of plants, selection and care of various crops, and much more.
The Complete Guide to Companion Planting is the perfect resource for a beginning companion planter. Companion planting will help you make the most of your garden space while improving the quality of your plants and soil. Mayer provides detailed information on which plants are considered companion plants, how to attract and repel insects, feeding your garden, and an extensive bibliography useful for additional research.
If you already have a successful garden and are interested in fine-tuning your technique, this book is a good choice. The Intelligent Gardener explains the scientific process behind the re-mineralization of soil to help your garden reach it’s maximum potential and grow nutrient dense foods.