Summer is a difficult time for a student garden club. The Brenau University Garden Society members are dispersed all over the country until August, and one is traveling in China for a few weeks. But summer is the growing season for most crops and the fall semester offers much more limited opportunities due to the change in the weather. So last summer the “crop” consisted only of maintenance-free wildflowers to keep the soil busy.
Last week Hall County Master Gardeners stepped up to the plate providing a huge service to the BUGS garden on the Gainesville historic campus. Assisted by club secretary Natalie Gainey Rowe (WC’14), Don Linke of the HCMG Society moved fresh soil into the beds and planted tomatoes, strawberries, peppers and a purple basil plant.
“One of the crucial elements of gardening is to plant at the right time,” Linke said. “Natalie is a great worker. She even went to the Gainesville city garage area and got leaf compost and added it to the garden. Soon we are going to make tomato cages and add special watering tubes that will direct water to the roots of the tomatoes.”
Earlier in the spring, BUGS members planted a few rows of potatoes, with the seed nodes also donated by the Master Gardeners.
“We are delighted that there’s such a good connection between these experts and our students at Brenau,” said Rudi Kiefer, the club adviser. “We’re a long stretch away from supplying the campus kitchens with potato salad. But I hope that come August, BUGS members will return to a rich learning experience as they work with fresh food produced right here on campus for the first time.”