Robbins Farm Garden is a cooperative community garden project at Robbins Farm Park in Arlington, MA. Since 2010, we’ve grown vegetables organically as a group, created an educational resource in the community and continued the agricultural tradition of the farm at the park. We garden Saturday mornings April – November and Wednesday evenings June – September. The project is run through Arlington’s Recreation Department.
Save the date – our annual Seed Selection Meeting will be on Saturday, February 3rd in Community Room of the Community Safety Building from 9:30 am to Noon(ish).
Everyone interested in the crops & varieties we will grow at Robbins Farm Garden this season is welcome. Prospective new members of the garden group are especially encouraged to attend and join in the discussion. Bring your seed catalogs and great expectations for the season to come!
You will find the Community Safety Building (Arlington Police Headquarters) at 112 Mystic Street. When you enter the building, go directly up the stairs; the community room door will be on your left.
Garlic: very good, do again
Leeks: very good, do again
Onions: sets did well, seed varieties did great, but lost a few Walla Wallas to rot, start picking them earlier
Scallions: did well, try broadcasting for higher yield or give more real estate, thin assiduously
Shallots: very good, do again
Walking Onions: did well, don’t forget to replant bulblets next year without Melissa
Broccoli: both crops were good, better color than last year
Brussels Sprouts: did better than last year, early sprouts hit with some sort of slime, later sprouts were great, some aphids in crowns at end of season
Cabbages: green variety did well (even in bed after spring broccoli), savoy variety needed a few more weeks, red variety was slow & small
Cauliflower: seedlings eaten by bunnies, reseeded & those that survived did great (were not transplanted), Snow Crown slightly earlier (and more purple) than Denali
Kohlrabi: both varieties did well, but should have been planted a week or two earlier
Carrots: 1st crop had poor germination (pelleted seed) & small carrots. 2nd crop did well (regular seed), plant in warmer soil, consider a single crop, keep volunteer dill and fennel out of bed
Celeriac: did well, find out how to get larger bulbs
Celery: very good, do again
Parsnips: yow za!
Basil: did great, even late into season, grow fewer plants? Intersperse with cilantro?
Cilantro: crowded between rocks and squash, 1st seeding failed, later seedings did well, was very hardy
Nasturtiums: did super well until hard frost, no aphids
Okra: seedlings did well, most survived transplanting, consider transplanting later or covering with plastic, experiment with pruning to increase yield
Popcorn: some bunny damage, but did reasonably well, good harvest
Rhubarb: did well, look into long-term maintenance requirements
Sunflowers: few plant with small flowers, try moving away from Jerusalem artichokes
Sweet Clover: transplanting worked well again
Arugula: crowded between rocks and squash, all plantings successful, early plantings bolted
Bok Choi: both crops did well, transplanting into failed soybean bed worked well
Collards: single row worked well
Cress: 1st planting did well, 2nd planting mostly failed, try something else next year?
Kales: did well, but only after several plantings and caging due to bunnies eating seedlings
Malabar Spinach: good seedlings this year, not as tall as last year
Lettuce: Pirat, Little Gem, Sandy and BSS/Nevada good, replace Red Salad Bowl with New Red Fire
Mustard: 1st planting mostly bombed, 2nd planting did well (lasted into November)
Perpetual Spinach: did well in bad location (lasted into November) no screening required!
Spinach: both seedlings and seeded crops did well, grew in the same space, screen cover a success
Swiss Chard: slow start, bad germination, reseeded… use Rainbow Mix next year, start in warmer soil?, fertilize more heavily, screening worked well (removed mid-season)but remay might have been better
Beans (bush): green and yellow varieties hit bad by bunnies, only Dragon Tongue did well
Beans (dried): bunnies hit seedlings hard and repeatedly, few survived to produce beans
Beans (pole): bunnies attacked seedlings (most recovered after caging), Blue Lake outperformed Kentucky Wonder
Fava Beans: did great, caught aphids early
Peas: 1st crop had poor germination, but highly productive. 2nd crop timed well, both plots produced
Soybeans: destroyed by bunnies, even with disco decorations
Eggplants: plants not robust, wormy fruit, poor yield – too much water? soil too cool?
Peppers: similar problems as eggplant, but not as bad, try growing a few in pots?
Potatoes: very good, do again
Tomatillos: did very well, some potato beetle damage, harvest later than usual
Tomatoes: not a great year, Green Zebra, Garden Treasure & Rutgers died early, Juliet & Sun Gold did well, leave more of the suckers? Try some plants in pots? Fertilize more?
General: keep volunteer dill and fennel out of beds
Beets: 1st crop (started indoors) did best, covering with screen helped, hit with ants & moss, just grow seedling crop & replant with fall peas?
Jerusalem Artichokes: did really well
Sweet Potatoes: slips started well, decent crop, but fewer full-sized tubers than usual, soil too cool? keep volunteer dill and fennel out of bed
Turnips (cooking): Golden Globe did well, Gilfeather didn’t have nearly enough time to mature
Turnips (salad): 1st crop did well, 2nd crop didn’t, try planting in onion bed with radishes next year?