A Garden for Every Gardener

Crowley Station

Crowley Station Community Gardens are located in the heart of downtown Madison and are located on a concrete platform at 201 S Hancock St. The gardens offer each member a raised garden bed approximately 8′ x 2′. There are 13 raised beds, several planter pots, and one raised bed reserved for educational use.

These gardens are perfect for gardeners living downtown that desire their own small piece of land to grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables that do not require too much space. There are a variety of community gardens to be found in Madison, with varying sizes, requirements, and locations! The website danegardens.net and the map below are a great way to explore local gardens in the area.

Community Gardens Map

2021 Garden Season

Welcome to the new gardening season! Please follow CDC and city public health guidelines when you come to the garden. Wear a mask when others are around, and bring your own tools if you have concerns about sharing.

If you have received a garden assignment from us, you are welcome to begin as soon as you complete your registration form, and we receive your plot fee. All gardeners must complete the registration form each year.

The Welcome email includes:

  • Important dates
  • Registration form
  • Link to membership guidelines
  • Plot fee information
  • Storage bench lock combinations

2021 Garden Changes:

  • Use social distancing whenever at the garden.
  • Bring your own tools if you are concerned about sharing
  • Consider becoming a leader for the garden this fall. We need all the help possible to make sure the garden continues in 2022!

Sending health and ease your way,

Crowley Station Community Garden Leadership Team

2020 Garden Season

In this stressful moment, I know that many of you are looking forward to getting out into the garden this spring. Right now, Crowley Station Community Garden is able to remain open. The season will just look a bit different than previous years.
All garden members are welcome to begin as soon as we receive your registration form and plot fee. All members are required to complete this form for 2020. Fill out the registration form online please.
Don’t forget to check out the Welcome Packet attached for all garden guidelines and rules. You can find other member resources on the google drive.
The plot fee for 2020 is based on a sliding scale. Some of you have already paid your plot fee for the season. Please see the attached plot assignment document to confirm this. Fees can be paid to Paypal (paypal.me/CrowleyStation) or through UW MoneyLink (crowleystationgarden@gmail.org). There is no security deposit this year, just the plot fee.
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There is an optional Zoom Opening Day on April 30th from 7-8PM. This is a chance to see garden friends, ask gardening questions, go through the welcome packet, and begin the season in a positive way. Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/622592304. Meeting ID: 622 592 304

2020 Garden Changes:
  • Use social distancing whenever at the garden.
  • Bring your own tools. (Currently there aren’t any sanitizing supplies at the garden).
  • No volunteer hours are required this year. You can still help by completing tasks on the task list.
  • No monthly garden meetings
  • Consider becoming a leader for the garden this fall. We need all the help possible to make sure the garden continues in 2021!
2020 Events:
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020: Summer Garden Meeting, at the Garden (or on Zoom depending on State Guidelines)

  • Saturday, October 31, 2020: Closing Day plot must be trench composted by this date in order to remain in good standing.

Sending health and ease your way,
Crowley Station Community Garden Leadership Team

Autumn Gardening: Planting Garlic!

If you’re planning to continue gardening with us at CSCG for the 2018 season, it’s time to get your garlic cloves in some soil! Garlic is typically planted in the Fall and harvested the following summer. Our raised garden beds are sunny, rich, and well-drained; which is perfect for garlic.

Garlic should be planted 6 weeks prior to freeze. Planting garlic can be purchased at many local locations. This year we tried Pehoski Purple and German Extra Hardy-Porcelain. Make sure to get a variety that will do well in this region.

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German Extra Hardy-Porcelain (left) and Pehoski Purple (right)

Step 1: 

Separate the cloves from each bulb.

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Step 2:

This year we tried a pre-soak that was recommended to us by the folks at Paradigm Gardens. This soak gives the garlic a fertilizer boost and reduces any diseases that could be carried on the garlic bulbs. After the cloves are separated, put them in warm water with a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of fish emulsion. We used Age Old Organics, Fish and Seaweed Emulsion. Soak the garlic in the mixture for 1-12 hours (the longer the better). Drain the cloves and them soak them in Vodka for 10 minutes. This is what will kill any diseases.

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Step 3:

Plant the cloves into prepared soil about 3” deep and about 6-9” apart. Plant with the tip of the clove as straight up as possible (or you’ll get wonky shaped garlic!) and the root side down. Cover the cloves with 1-2” of soil.

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Step 4:

Cover the garlic with generous layer of straw mulch to protect it from the freeze and thaw of our harsh Wisconsin winter. You may want to protect your garlic from hungry critters by covering with a layer of chicken wire. It also may be a good idea to mark where you planted each clove so it’s still obvious next spring. We color coded ours so we can keep track of which variety and method does best. Let your garlic hibernate!

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In the spring, add more mulch to help encourage growth, retain moisture, and keep the weeds at bay. Make sure to keep the area around your garlic free of weeds. Later in the spring your garlic will begin to flower. Remove these flowering stalks to encourage growth of the garlic bulb itself instead of it putting its energy into flowering (you can eat these, they’re called garlic scapes!). In June, the garlic will stop producing new growth. At this time, remove any remaining mulch and allow the soil to dry out. Harvest in mid-July or August when you have 5 full green leaves remaining or 50% of the leaves have died from the bottom. The garlic can be removed and allowed to dry for 2-3 weeks in a cool, airy location. Enjoy your garlic now or store it to use through the fall and into the winter! Consider setting aside a few bulbs to replant!

If you need any help planting or need extra tips, feel free to reach out to us!

– Grayson & Krista

Garden updates

 

Hi gardeners!
About a month ago we had our opening day at the garden. I apologize for not having a post up sooner about it, but it’s been a busy month. We had great turnout and it was great to meet so many new people.

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New and returning gardeners at Opening Day

A few people planted their gardens that day and since then more and more plots are getting filled in.

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Sprouts are beginning to show in some beds and established plants are flourishing.

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The great news is that all our plots are filled this year and we even have a waiting list! It sounds like Crowley Station is becoming more known in the community which is a great thing.

We had our first workday this past Saturday. We did some maintenance and added a cork board to the bulletin board. We also fixed the rain barrel funnel so it will fill up with water more efficiently.

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We also made put laminated name cards in every garden plot.

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After the last few days of rain, there is finally a significant amount of water in the rain barrel. Remember to use the rain barrel before using the water spigot. Thanks!

 

 

Is Spring Here?

Hi readers,

It seems like after the crazy snow and rain of last week, spring might finally be here! We are ready at Crowley Station Community Garden to start planting. Our opening day is coming up on Saturday, April 16. Stop at the farmer’s market for some fresh veggies and then come on down to the garden to plant your own. We’ll be there between 10 and 2 taking registration info and payments and having a nice little social to kick off the planting season. We’ll also be decorating name plates for our garden beds to let the community and garden visitors know who we are. I can’t wait to see everyone and meet my fellow gardeners.

Looking forward to Spring

It’s finally feeling like spring! We shall hope that this warm weather continues and we get lots of spring rain to fill up our rain barrels, which will be going out in a few weeks.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Emma and I’m the new Communications Director for 2016. I’m excited to be in this role and have lots of ideas for the coming planting season! I’ve been gardening since I was small and loved to eat dirt-covered carrots right out of my family’s garden. This is only my second summer as a gardener with Crowley Station but I’m happy to be a part of the leadership team.

The leadership team have been meeting to plan this season and we are all looking forward to opening day. The date for opening day this year is April 16th from 10-12. We’ll be taking deposits and registrations and making name plates for our garden plots.

We met last week to discuss our goals for 2016 and this is what we came up with:

  • We are working with various people at the city and water utility to finalize our new lease of the Garden space. Our goal is to have that finalized soon. We will have more details on that as the lease terms get worked out.
  • There are so many community gardens in Madison doing great work. This year we’d like to develop a deeper relationship with some of them. Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities and jointly-hosted events with other gardens this summer.
  • Last year we had some problems with theft of our produce. This year we would like to minimize that, by making our gardeners more visible and increasing neighborhood awareness of Crowley Station Community Garden.
  • We would like to update some of our policies and make the handbook the best it can be. Since Crowley Station has such an interesting history, we’d also like to document that in some way.
  • We decided that a 5-year goal for the Garden will be to increase the number of raised beds in the space.

Our next meeting is March 24th at Barriques on West Washington, from 7:00-8:30. We’d love for anyone to join us!

 

Putting Your Garden to Bed Workshop Recap

By: Danna Olsen

I attended the last gardener workshop of the season at McFarland’s Community Garden. The topic of the evening was “putting your garden to bed and planning for next season.”

Katie Getty-Syoen gave us a tour of the gardens. I was particularly impressed with the children’s garden area. After running into many obstacles trying to get a school garden started, Katie got involved with a 4-H program and created a playful space with and for kids at the McFarland Community Garden. This space has a big sandbox, a desk planted with sedum, a mini produce/ lemonade stand and a whimsical garden bed. Her creativity and perseverance is an inspiration.

Below are some notes from the workshop of what to do at the end of the season.

Harvest

  • Before the first hard frost, make sure to harvest remaining tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
  • Root vegetables should also be harvested before the ground freezes.

Remove Dead Plants

  • Disease-free weeds/plants should be composted or used as mulch.
  • Diseased plants should be bagged and discarded off-site.

Get Ready For Next Season

  • Be ready to cover late season hardy vegetables and cold tender perennials with row cover or a plant blanket.
  • Add compost to your garden plot.
  • Plant cover crops (e.g. Clover, buckwheat, field peas/oats)
  • Try lasagna mulch by layering paper, cardboard, used straw/hay and vegetable scraps to build both structure and fertility or layer mulch of autumn leaves or hay on your garden bed.
  • Plant garlic and other spring bulbs (select the largest bulbs you can find).
  • This is a good time to clean and sharper tools.

 

 

Compost and Happy Hour Planting Party this Friday, May 1st

CSCG Members, loved ones, friends, and neighbors,

This past Saturday we traversed Dane County on a mission for free compost and struck black gold! All beds were given some compost so our plots are now nutrient rich and ready for planting. Stop by the garden sometime this week and see how it’s shaping up already.

Join us this Friday, May 1st, for a Happy Hour Planting Party Work Day at the garden from 6:00–8:00pm. Bring beverages and snacks to share while we sort through weeds, seeds, and compost to wind down the week. It’s the perfect time to start planting some of the early spring vegetables that can withstand coldish weather. See our Education Director Danni Niles’s previous post for more suggestions, or keep reading using the gardening resources section of our website as your guide:

https://crowleystationgarden.org/handbook/gardening-resources/

Garden Plots Still Available for 2015

We still have several beds available for the 2015 season! Fill out a registration form and email it to CrowleyStationGarden@gmail.com to get started.  Then join us on Opening Day, April 18!  More information about fees, required volunteer hours, and our gardening standards is available on our website.

Crowley Station Community Garden is more than just some soil to grow plants.  Together we work to improve this space for our neighborhood while getting to know each other and forming friendships.  This year we will host Dane County Master Gardeners and hold educational workshops on various gardening topics such as thwarting pests and maximizing productivity from raised beds.  We also have one educational plot used to teach members how to garden; harvests from this bed are donated to the Grace Episcopal Food Pantry.  We have social events like yoga classes, concerts, and potlucks and welcome suggestions from our members.

If you live on the isthmus and would like an opportunity to get your hands dirty, grow some organic plants, and get to know your neighbors while learning how to garden better and adding to the beauty of Downtown Madison, it sounds like CSCG might be just what you need this summer!  Read more about us on our website.  If you like what you see, fill out a registration form asap.  With spring settling in a little more every day, the time to start planting is right around the corner and you don’t want to miss out!