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. All of the SDG gardens are planted and maintained as teaching opportunities.
Our Vegetable Garden changes continually throughout the seasons. Come see how the Straw Bale Garden is progressing. We have a new VegePod on display. This is a self-watering, raised bed, system. We also planted cover crops in the beds this year. Ask us about it when you visit! A new perennial vegetable bed has also been built and will be planted this season.
On-Going Projects and Exhibits
Follow our Straw Bale Garden project here.