Objective and Design
The Vegetable Garden at the Sherwood Demonstration Gardens provides visitors with ideas for growing season-appropriate veggies. Every year will be different, as most plantings are annuals, and with crop rotations in the raised beds, no two seasons will look alike! Our focus is on growing vegetables that will thrive in the El Dorado County climate. It is important to note that everything that is used in the veggie garden is available to the home gardener at local hardware stores and nurseries.
Raised beds, constructed with rot-resistant redwood, all have a hardware cloth barrier at the bottom to preclude Pocket Gophers from burrowing in from underneath. Raised beds are used throughout the Veggie Garden, because all of the native top soil within the confines of the veggie garden area was moved to the neighboring Orchard Garden to give the fruit trees more native topsoil for their roots.
Drip irrigation is used exclusively in each of the beds, demonstrating effective use of watering. The Veggie Garden is organized by three watering zones, and each zone’s watering needs is managed by an automatic timer. Also demonstrated is the ‘offset emitter’ matrix of emitters: Parallel in-line emitter hoses are placed, so that the imbedded emitters provide overlapping water coverage in the root zone of the raised beds.
Constructed as a teaching garden, rather than as a production garden, the Veggie Garden effectively demonstrates different gardening techniques such as cover crops, row covers, wall-of-water, and vertical gardening at the beautiful entrance arbor. As crops ripen, some may be allowed to go to seed – intentionally. Master Gardeners conduct seed saving and maintain a seed library to be used for future plantings, and to be self-sustaining.
The Sherwood Demonstration garden is continually a work-in-progress, and the Veggie Garden is no exception! This year, we plan to incorporate two new raised bed planter boxes, and will introduce new types of containers for demonstration purposes.
As all of the SDG gardens are planted and maintained as teaching opportunities, The Veggie Garden offers an on-going ‘class’ every second Saturday of the month hosted by the garden chairman: Barry Wold. On a monthly basis (weather permitting throughout the year), “Saturdays with Barry” offers veggie gardening tips, while he is actually working in the garden, and promoting vegetable garden success during each month’s demonstration.
There are a lot of new plantings - cucumbers, watermelon, eggplant, okra, and more.
Most of us have seen these in our gardening catalogs. Many of us have wondered if they really work! Some of our volunteers have made this topic a little project that can be seen and discussed in the Vegetable Garden located within the Sherwood Demonstration Garden.
Read more about this Wall O Water season extender project here.
Join Barry Wold in the Vegetable Garden on the second Saturday of each month. Barry hangs around and is available to discuss all aspects of vegetable gardening. Including seasonal plantings, raised bed construction, irrigation, and more.