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June 1, 2015 / mountainparks

A Fresh Start at the Garden

Bad news, good news. Our garden at Red Rocks has been daunting, as each year we seem to fight the same crop of weeds. It’s been frustrating and discouraging, as this blog attests year after year. New plants that were added struggled and usually failed against the overwhelming competition of weeds.

Reluctantly, we realized we had to do something more than what we have been. After discussions with our volunteers and DMP rangers, we did a selective spraying in mid-April, as carefully as possible targeting difficult weeds, perennial problem orchardgrass, cheatgrass, thistle, etc. and trying to avoid anything worth saving.

Then we had to wait for results before we could plant anything. Seedlings we had brought down to plant in the garden went elsewhere.

Garden team on May 16, 2015: Jim, Chris, Joan, Jack.

Garden team on May 16, 2015: Jim, Chris, Joan, Jack.

With a couple weeks, most of the target plants died, leaving the garden looking somewhat sad.

Then in May, the rains came. Almost every day in May, rain provided welcome water and assisted weed-pulling, but by the end of the month we were looking for sunshine. A small group of us had a work session in the garden May 16th, and Chris and Jack worked to clear the area south of the upper stairway, an area we just hadn’t tackled yet. Look at that nice fresh soil behind the team, ready for new plants.

May 30, 2015. More dedicated volunteers: Sue, Jack, Joan, and Jim spent the morning weeding. Again.

May 30, 2015. More dedicated volunteers: Sue, Jack, Joan, and Jim spent the morning weeding. Again.

On the normal Friends of Red Rocks workday, May 30th, another small group assembled to keep chipping away at the remaining weeds. We also had an opportunity to salvage a few plants in the path of construction, and those were quickly planted.

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