About us

Campus Crops is a student run urban gardening initiative at McGill University's downtown campus. We want to grow food on campus, by students, for students. We have been running garden behind the School of Environment building at 3534 University since 2007. In 2009 we started a terrace garden behind the James Administration building. We're really excited to keep improving these two spaces, and need lots of helping hands for the summer ahead! Get in touch and get gardening!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Garden Sprouts!

Starfleet Chief Engineer Scottie, part-time bike riding urban gardener
The Campus Crops gardens are slowly starting to green up ever so slightly after that intense day of gardening 2 weeks ago. The larger seedlings that were planted are growing even larger and becoming more established.

Some of the plants seeds that were sown directly into the garden soil are now also sprouting up, including some of the lemon cucumbers, assorted peas, and a few of the squash. As for the rest of the sowed seeds... well, only time will tell.

Weeds were also starting to sprout, and thus lower garden and the terrace containers were weeded for the ubiquitous maple tree seedlings, dandelions, and broadleaf plantains.

We are also continuing to organize the garden and over the last weeks planted even more new stuff. Among that new stuff, we now have a rhubarb crown.
After a week of leaving it on its own in the open, something began nibbling on it so we caged it in chicken wire. With the cage protecting the much diminished rhubarb, the nibbling seems to have stopped.

To add more colour to the garden, flowers seeds were sowed into the terrace planters. We also built new containers to grow carrots and root vegetables. To construct them, the bottom of the plastic recycling containers were drilled to provide drainage. The insides were then filled with a layer of larger rocks at the very bottom, some small gravel, and then filled to the top with compost.

Some of the seedlings that were started in shady windowsills got a bit "sunburnt" and bleached after their transplant outdoors. However, after a slow start they all seem to be doing fine now. The sowed seeds from the squash and snow peas have now fully developed their true leaves, while the snap peas and cucumbers are still in the cotyledon leaf stage.

Then there is the continuing fight with that giant patch of Japanese knotweed. Its growth appears to be somewhat under control through the weekly pulling and digging. However, this leaves us a good pile of the leaves, rhizomes and stalks to deal with every week.

This plant has a tendency to sprout and take over standard compost piles (and everything around it) so a proper disposal method must be devised. The first batch of knotweed of the year was rather tasty and we got rid of them by eating them, however these later sprouts from the second and third growths are more bitter and much less palatable. This means they have to be composted in a contained manner.

To do this, we packed, stomped, and compressed the rhizomes and stalks into a bucket. Rocks were then piled on top of them and they are left to wither and ferment in the sun. They should be ready to be compost in the regular way by the end of the next month.

Check out our twitter site for more pics!


Earl May said...

Congrats! You have a beautiful blog and I enjoy reading your posts. Your kitty picture is adorable.

CampusCrops said...

We have kitty pictures? Or are you referring to our rad racoon?

Anonymous said...

I love the garden, the plants are coming along nicely. :) I also enjoy reading the updates on this blog, keep it up!

CampusCrops said...

Thank you mystery person! We try to publish when we can and when there are especially big things and stuff to write about. Check out our twitter and facebook to get up-to-date stuff on the stuffs that we are doing.