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This blogspot is maintained for the the historic record from 2010 to 2014.

Who We Are

The Capitol Hill Garden Club brings together Washington area people interested in gardening, landscaping and the environment. Members enjoy lectures, demonstrations, workshops and tours.

We are a 501(c)(3) District of Columbia non-profit corporation. We undertake community projects and contribute to garden and beautification projects in our neighborhood. In past years the club donated thousands of spring flowering bulbs to groups and individuals for planting in public areas on Capitol Hill. Our income comes from membership dues and donations.

We are a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. and its District I, and the Central Atlantic Region of State Garden Clubs, Inc.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shepherd Ogden Proposed Intensive, Year Round Vegetable Gardening for Capitol Hill

February 8, 2011: Organic gardening guru Shepherd Ogden promoted intensive, year round vegetable gardening for small Capitol Hill plots to a large gathering of members and guests.

Ogden suggested covering paths between beds with grass clippings and other green matter, which in the fall could be raked on top of the beds, covered with leaves, allowed one good rain and then covered with plastic to winter over.
Ogden encouraged members to plant bedding plants rather than seeds in the garden. By starting seeds outside the garden, one has more control over the conditions for germination, and, by planting only bedding plants in the garden, you avoided the down time and vagaries of germination. He said if one planted several seeds per plug, that one should cut off the less vigorous plants, rather than pull them out by the roots, so as not to disturb the roots of the vigorous plant.

When Ogden does plant seeds in the garden, he uses a broom handle to create a seed hole, drops in a seed, and then waters the row to allow soil to fill in the hole. He recommended using a post-hole digger to dig holes for seed potatoes.

With regard to lettuces, Ogden demonstrated planting lettuce in short rows across the bed rather than lengthwise. He suggested planting one row, and then when it germinated, planting a second, a so forth, till the end of the bed. Then as the first row was harvested, reseeding it, and then reseeding each successive harvested row, so that one had a seemingly endless maturity of lettuces.

Ogden showed several methods of "caging" plants so that they were not susceptible to wind or fruit touching the ground. He urged the use of untreated with bamboo; at the end of the season the can be cut and put on the mulch pile along with the remaining plant matter. For short tomatoes, he suggested using wire cages on their side to form wire tunnels or quonsets.

Ogden promoted planting seasonal crops together rather in succession. If one plants later crops down the center of a bed and earlier crops to either side, the side crops will cut down on weeding and will be mature and gone by the time the later crop needs to develop to maturity. Ogden also suggested planting radishes with carrots, as the radishes mature and are pulled, the carrots will not require thinning.

Ogden was an enthusiastic speaker, almost in constant motion. Following his presentation, he answered dozens of audience questions.