We will be working in the formal flower garden next to the mansion. Our work will mostly be weeding and thinning flowers. It is a great opportunity to see the garden for free! It's beautiful this time of year. Bring your own hand tools, gloves and hats. We will have water, sunscreen and insect repellent. This will be fun!
When you get to The Hermitage, drive past the Visitor Center, through the bus parking lot to the "Do Not Enter" sign at the parking lot to the Administration Building. Go right past the sign and go left down a gravel driveway. A large greenhouse will be on your left and the Maintenance Building will be straight ahead. Park at the Maintenance Building or along the fence to your right. Inside the small greenhouse on the right side of the building, you will find a notebook labeled "Master Gardeners". Inside the book are parking passes. Please put one on your dashboard so Security will know that you are legit. Remember to return the pass before you leave.
We generally meet on Saturday mornings to work in the Kitchen Garden, but if another time suits your schedule better, please come then. So far, we haven't needed to water during the week, but we have had to spray deer repellent after a rain. (Thanks, Phil!) Certainly, we need to weed the garden during the week.
As I mentioned before, we have tomatoes, basil, garlic, onions, shallots, eggplant, watermelon, kale, bell peppers, tabasco pepper, zucchini and yellow squash. Since then, we have planted cucumbers, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, okra, ground cherries and rhubarb. This week, it's peanuts! We will also continue weeding and preparing the ground for more vegetables.
Last year, we buried some cigarette ash among the squash and it seemed to help keep the squash bugs away for a while. This year, I buried about 1 1/2 inches of cigar among the squash roots. Let's see if unsmoked tobacco works as well.