Redesigning Morningside Community Garden

Starting in October 2022, Morningside Community Garden underwent a huge transformation -- from a growing space that wasn't meeting the gardeners' needs to the beautiful site you see today. Here are a few highlights of this year-long process.

Pictured above is a pile of plastic edging, which had to be removed along with decorative bricks that lined each garden bed. Once those were taken out, volunteers removed the pea gravel and landscape fabric from the aisles (see photo below). It was a long process, but worth the effort! We were able to remove the gravel and plastic without heavy machinery, while also preserving the valuable layer of topsoil and compost in the growing spaces.

Most of the garden was then covered in silage tarp (see photo below), which is a UV-resistant plastic that is very useful on vegetable farms for terminating crops, protecting bare soil, and killing off stubborn turf grasses and weeds. We left this tarp in place well into June 2023 to optimize the breakdown of stubborn grasses during the intense heat of summer.

This spring there was a huge volunteer push to get the space ready in time for gardeners. Community Gardens Manager Hannah Patrick led teams of volunteers from The Home Depot, Roanoke Women’s Rugby Football Club, and weekly volunteer nights to construct the fence and install the new garden beds.

Somehow, we got it all done by April, just in time for gardeners to start planting their spring crops!

There are more changes to come in 2024. Stay tuned, and join us for a volunteer day in the spring!

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