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What's happening in April

Updated: Apr 4


Sisters Community Garden newsletter April 2024


We hope you are as excited for the new gardening season as we are! This month we have three important events that will bring us, and our 11+ new members, together to start the gardening season.


Garden opening, orientation, and info and seed sharing

Join us Saturday April 6, from 10 a.m. to noon at the garden as we officially open the 2024 season.

Come learn the ins and outs of the garden and greenhouse and meet your board members and other gardeners. Get tips and tricks to growing in our challenging environment, how to work your plot for the highest productivity, and best practices for irrigation.


Also tour and learn about our shared beds and stewardships. Shared beds include the herb, blueberry, raspberry, flower, asparagus and other beds. As a steward, you care for one of these or other shared areas of the garden. It’s also a time to let the board know of other ways you may be able to donate time or help, such as using your truck to bring soil amendments to the garden, or to bring debris to the transfer station or even maintaining a bed of vegetables for donation to food pantries.


We will also announce lottery winners for space in the greenhouse and the "Back 40." Put your name in for a plot or wall space in the greenhouse to grow your precious tomatoes, and for a plot in the back 40 where you can grow larger plants such as zucchini and melons.


Finally, look through our collection of free seeds given to us by the Winona Grange and take a packet or two. Then sit back, relax and enjoy some pizza and the friendship of other gardeners while welcoming new members:

·        Gina Bono

·        Linda Cotrufello

·        Terry and Robert Scherer

·        John and Carla Bailey

·        Richelle and Nicolas Otasu

·        Mark and Cindy Alvarez

·        Caty Hogan

·        Tommy Thompson

·        Emily and Ericka Paulson

·        Joan Blanchet

·        Laura Donelly

·        Christina Nilsen


Garden cleanup work party

The following Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to noon, we'll have a cleanup work party at the garden. Help us pull weeds, prepare soil, spread wood chips, prune, dig up spreading plants for transplanting and a host of other duties. It’s amazing how much work gets done during these cleanups! Please note that a part of your membership is the agreement that all members are required to participate in at least two work parties during the season for general clean up and maintenance. The next work party is scheduled for May 18.


Our goal for cleanup sessions is to maintain our shared beds, the perimeter of the garden and our own beds so they become a welcome place for people, birds and bees to visit! We’ll order another round of pizza to snack on at the end of the work party.


You are welcome to stay and begin working on your own garden as well. Compost, manure and soil are there and ready for you to add to your plot with tools available in the garden shed.



Annual meeting and vote for board members

 On Saturday April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the garden will host its annual meeting and potluck. This meeting is a great time to chat with other members, share garden stories, make new friendships and meet members of the board.


The meeting is also the time for you to vote for board members who manage the garden’s activities. After the dinner and the member vote, the board will meet to elect directors for each of the board positions. Visit our website to learn about current board members and open positions.


Bring a potluck dish to share, and also think about joining the board! Contact Mimi Shafer at to learn more.


The annual meeting and potluck takes place at the Pine Meadow Clubhouse at 596 W. Jefferson Avenue in Sisters.


Upcoming May workshop

This one you won't want to miss! It’s our All Things Tomato workshop on May 4! Learn everything there is to know about how to start, grow, feed and maintain your tomato plants. The workshop will cover tomato pruning for high yield for both determinant and indeterminate varieties, best practices for growing in the greenhouse as well as outside, how to keep your tomato from falling over, and planting, fertilizing, and watering tips. Take this workshop and before you know it, you’ll be eating juicy red tomatoes from your own plot!


Tomatoes are one of the most popular and sought-after fruits of the summer. Yes, it is considered a fruit – the taxonomers and botanists say so because it contains seeds and grows from the flower of the tomato plant. Nutritionally and for culinary purposes though, the tomato is considered a vegetable. But details aside, tomatoes are a sweet, savory and downright delicious thing to eat!


Join Nancy Bright, greenhouse manager and gardener extraordinaire, to learn all you need to know about tomatoes. Tomatoes take special care and we all need to know not only how to grow them but also how to prune them for maximum production as well as for consideration of your neighbors in the greenhouse.


This free workshop will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 in the greenhouse. Members and non-members are invited. Registration is required. Please send an email to to let us know you will be there. 


Greenhouse guidelines

Speaking of the greenhouse, the garden board has developed guidelines for members to consider when using the greenhouse.


All gardeners may use the worktables and shelving in the greenhouse to start their seedlings, while others may use the plots and the east facing wall to grow tomatoes and other warmth loving plants. Because we do not have enough space for all gardeners, plots and space along the wall is reserved for those who enter the lottery for space. We will announce the lottery winners at our April 6 cleanup work party.


Please note that large plants, such as squash, cucumbers, corn and climbing plants such as indeterminate tomatoes may be started in the greenhouse, they must be moved outside once they are established. Gardeners using the greenhouse are responsible for watering their plants and keeping them from encroaching on walkways and plants of other gardeners.


Please review the greenhouse guidelines on our website under the “Members” section

In conclusion

 As you can see, April is a busy month in the garden. Although it’s too early to put out seedlings or start planting, it’s the right time to plan your garden and ensure a successful harvest this year.


In Sisters short growing season, April is a great time to purchase or order garden seeds with 65-80 days to maturity. Remember to add four days to the maturity date on the packet. This is approximately how long it will take for that plant to mature here because we have little to no plant growth at night.


This is also a good time to plant seedlings for sprouting indoors. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts can be started and then moved to your outside plot in May, with tomatoes and more tender plants to follow in June. Herbs are also good candidates for windowsill containers.


But check your soil temperature! A simple soil thermometer can guide you in planting seedlings. When the temperature reaches 40 degrees or higher, you can begin thinking about planting radishes, peas, beets, carrots and spinach outside. These veggies do not like being transplanted (especially carrots!), so wait for warmer temperatures and plant directly to your plot.


Happy gardening!!


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