Northside Park Garden is an annual garden located near the corner of Pontiac Trail and Taylor, adjacent to the Northside Community Center, on the property of Ann Arbor Parks and Northside School. This community garden consists of 10 half plots and is a partnership between Community Action Network and Project Grow.
MAP OF GARDEN: Northside Map
SOIL: Soil testing done in 2010 showed Northside'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 and 4.8% organic matter. 2.25# nitrogen, 3# phosphorous and 2.5# potassium are prescribed for a full plot at the beginning of the season with regular applications of nitrogen throughout.
IMPORTANT SCHOOL REQUEST: The school can not provide phone or restroom facilities!
INDIVIDUAL PLOT MAINTENANCE: Please remember that we are guests on this property. All gardeners are responsible for keeping weeds down in their plots and along the adjacent pathways. Various mulches may be used in your garden to inhibit weed growth, conserve water, and promote a hospitable micro-climate 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 interested in learning more about marsh hay deliveries contact your site coordinator.
GARDEN MAINTENANCE: The major perimeters of the garden are mowed by the Ann Arbor School District and Ann Arbor Parks only if we keep the area free from organic refuse and other debris and stones. Compost your own organic material within your plot or take it home for the city's compostible collection. Please pile rocks in designated areas only....rocks break mower blades! Please take all non-organic materials home with you when you leave the site. And please help make the gardens beautiful this summer by maintaining your own plot and keeping the garden free from debris, etc.
WATER: Water is provided by the Northside Community Center and can be turned on by a spigot located at the rear of the building. Water use should be limited to a reasonable amount and water conservation should be practiced to every extent possible. When finished watering please coil hoses neatly near the Community Center. Do not leave them in the grass or the garden, where mowers can do serious damage to them. Notify your site coordinator(s) immediately if you find problems with the hose.
Watering should never be unattended-hose timers are prohibited.
TOOLS: A small selection of basic tools are provided for your use. When you are confirmed for a plot at Northside you will receive instructions on where to find them.
COMMUNICATION: We use a 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, e-newsletters will also contain important information about upcoming projects and events.
ABANDONED PLOTS: Plots that have not been seriously worked by June 1st or are overgrown with weeds taller than 18” at any point in the season will be considered abandoned and may be reassigned. Contact 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 the third Saturday, in October . Organic material may be chopped up and spread evenly across your plot, to be plowed under later in the fall. Take home all non-organic material, i.e., fences, stakes, plastic, paper, etc. The goal is to have little evidence of the presence of Project Grow once the garden is tilled for the year. 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
- Some spots are sandy, others are more clay-like.
- We had trouble with deer this year--should look into fencing options for next year. Also, with a community center / food distribution center next door, we've had problems with people wandering through the garden and picking produce.
- I love this site. this was the first year we've had deer, but they didn't cause all that much damage. generally, this site has very few pest problems. no one fences