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Spring is here…and so is a new urban garden!

May 4, 2010

We are so happy to have this blog to update everyone on the cool happenings at Green Sprawl. But before I talk about the events going on, I’d like to explain what Green Sprawl actually is. Green Sprawl Neighborhood Farms, Inc. is a non-profit in the State of Michigan (not a 501(c)(3)…yet), and was founded by Ben and Paige Waldron in March 2010. A Board of Directors meets twice monthly to plan the more detailed, nitty gritty side of the garden. The garden is located in the back corner of the parking lot at Fuller Avenue Christian Reformed Church at 1239 Fuller Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

The garden was built over the course of two Saturday work days at the beginning of April. At least twenty volunteers came to help each day! Ben and I weren’t really sure what to expect for those first two work days, but we were pleasantly surprised and grateful for all the help. We had help from neighbors, church members, and returning citizens from the Inner City Neighborhood Project. The first Saturday we built the raised beds by stacking cinder blocks. The second Saturday we laid down landscaping cloth in the beds, put 3 inches or so of pea gravel on top for drainage, and filled the beds in with a mixed soil. Total, there are seven raised beds with a growing space of 24′ x 4′ x 18″. Ben and I recently mixed in compost also to add a little organic material to the soil.

Here’s where we got our supplies from in case you want to order your own:

Cinder Blocks: Consumer’s Construction Co. (650 blocks ordered, all multi-colored!)

Landscaping cloth: Home Depot

Pea gravel and soil: Green Leaf Distribution

Compost: Big Chipper

In addition to the work days, the garden education classes have begun! Last week I taught a class about starting seeds and everyone planted seeds in different growing mediums to see which growing medium they liked the best and worked the best. This week Ben is teaching how to transplant seedlings and his lesson will probably far out-do mine ūüôā Here’s a graph from the handout I used in class that will tell which kind of seeds are normally planted early indoors and which types normally planted directly into your garden:

Seeded Indoors

Normal Possible

Tomatoes                              Melons

Eggplants                              Beans

Peppers                                  Corn

Basil                                       Beets

Parsley                                   Squash

Cabbage                                Pumpkins

Perennial Herbs



Br. Sprouts



Lettuce, early

Direct Seeded

Normal Possible

Corn                                       Tomatoes

Peas                                        Broccoli

Beans                                     Cabbage

Squash                                   Cauliflower

Melons                                   Onions

Pumpkins                              Leeks

Spinach Basil







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