Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services Garden is located in the open lot next to the Catholic Social Services building, on the corner of Packard and Golfside Roads. Parking is readily available in the parking lot; the entrance is off of Packard.

MAP OF GARDEN: Catholic Social Services Map

SITE COORDINATOR: Deborah Nystrom ()

SOIL: Soil testing done in 2010 showed CSS's soil to be alkaline, with a pH of 7.7. Most vegetable crops prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. Sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss, will lower the soil pH. 15# sulfur is the recommended application for a full plot to lower pH to 6.5 The soil is considered clay loam, has average nutrient holding capacity, 3# nitrogen and 2.5# phosphorous are prescribed for a full plot at the beginning of the season with regular applications of nitrogen throughout.

INDIVIDUAL PLOT MAINTENANCE: All gardeners are responsible for keeping weeds down in their plots and along the adjacent pathways. Please do not dump weeds outside of your plot. Instead, use them as a mulch within your garden! Mulches are wonderful helpers to gardeners, as they inhibit weed growth, conserve water, and promote a hospitable microclimate for plants and worms. Marsh hay is usually available in the spring, delivered to the garden from a local grower for a reasonable fee. If your are interested in learning more about marsh hay deliveries or for more information about mulching, contact your site coordinator or the office.

GARDEN MAINTENANCE: We are guests on this property. As such, we ask that you do not throw rocks or other debris into the mowed areas. Instead, put rocks on the rock pile at the end of the garden, near the woods. And please keep all organic waste material inside of your plot, rather than dumping them into informal piles around the garden. Alternatively, organics can be take home for composting by the city. Later, as the fall clean-up occurs, these can be chopped up and left on site, where they will be plowed under, to return nutrients back to the soil. Please take all non-organic waste (plastic, fencing, etc.) home with you when you leave the site. Gardeners will be asked to help maintain unused plots and common areas from time to time. Help make the gardens beautiful this summer by maintaining your own plot and keeping the gardens free from debris, etc.

WATER: Water is provided by Catholic Social Services. Hoses attach to a spigot on the side of the building. Uncoiled hoses can be a danger to the many people who frequent the building. Please be considerate and coil up the hoses onto the hose reel after every use. If you spot a leak in the hose lines, either make the repairs yourself or notify the site coordinator.

Watering of gardens should never be unattended; hose timers are prohibited.

 COMPOSTING:  Any organic waste generated during the growing season may be tilled into the soil, placed in a designated compost area on-site, or taken home for composting by the city.  However, diseased plants should always be removed from the site, to minimize the presence of pathogens in the gardens. 

TOOLS: A supply of tools is kept in the shed; you will be given the combination to the lock when you are assigned a plot here. Always return tools to the shed after use. If you have any tools that you wish to donate to the garden, feel free to put them in the shed and then notify the office.

COMMUNICATION:We post notices about upcoming events or garden news on the side of the shed. Watch for these notices and feel free to make announcements regarding garden business yourself. In recent years, we have used the garden group email list to make important announcements. If you have not already notified us of your email address, let us know right away! Finally, newsletters will also contain important information about upcoming projects and events.

ABANDONED PLOTS: Plots that have not been seriously worked by May 31st or are overgrown with weeds taller than 1 1/2' at any point in the season will be considered abandoned and may be reassigned. Contact your site coordinator or the office if you are having problems getting started or if you have to abandon your plot.

FALL CLEAN-UP: Your plot must be cleared no later than the end of the day on Saturday, October 15th, 2016. Organic material may be chopped up and spread evenly across your plot. Take home all non-organic material, i.e., fences, stakes, plastic, paper, etc. Failure to clean up your plot according to the guidelines set forth in the Member Handbook may result in expulsion from the garden.

Gardener Comments and Suggestions

  • (If you want a fence) gardeners need to put up their own.