Summer work day planned at Tarentum community garden | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Summer work day planned at Tarentum community garden

Brian C. Rittmeyer
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The summer work day at Tarentum’s Greg Blythe Friendship Garden is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18, 2019.

On the good side, mixed greens, arugula, spinach and radishes are among the crops ready to pick at Tarentum’s Greg Blythe Friendship Garden.

“They’re doing very well,” said the Rev. Phil Beck of First United Presbyterian Church, an organizer of the group that oversees the garden.

On the not-so-good, there’s also weeds — pernicious thistle, most notably.

“Volunteers have been down working on it almost on a daily basis,” Beck said.

“It’s a blight, and a pretty voracious one,” he said. “It multiplies itself by putting runners under the ground. If you pull it up and don’t get all of it up — if even a little piece is left — it comes back up.”

Weeding and planting are on the list of things to do for the garden’s summer workday, scheduled for this Saturday in the garden off of First Avenue and next to Dreshar Stadium.

Anyone interested in helping is welcome to show up, Beck said.

He suggests people bring work gloves, tools and a water bottle.

In addition to weeding and regular care, work will include planting summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and beans. There’s also flowers to plant, and mulch to spread.

“There’s a large mound of mulch there,” Beck said. “It needs to go from a pile on to the paths.”

The day will be rescheduled in case of inclement weather, but Beck said that would only happen in the case of heavy rain or thunderstorms.

Local Girl Scouts are expected to be among those coming.

“We’re always excited to have kids be present,” Beck said. “They’re not only good helpers, but they learn about the garden.”

For Saturday, Grow Pittsburgh has given the garden straw, strawberry plants and seed potatoes. Old Tin Roof Farm in Upper Burrell is providing tomato and pepper plants and flowers, Beck said.

About 50 volunteers turned out for the spring cleanup and planting in April.

Since then, four new pear trees and a dozen blackberry bushes have been planted, and some crops that didn’t germinate have been replanted.

The blackberries may produce this year, but that’s more likely next year; the pear trees will take two or three years before bearing fruit, Beck said.

Asian pear trees planted last year have flowered and there’s a potential for fruit this year.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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