For my LA Experienced I volunteered for the construction of the native garden at Clover Elementary. First when I arrived I thought that the construction of the garden was taking place in the children’s garden. But then realized that it was actually a rectangular piece of lad that was in front of modular classrooms.
I first believed that what was going to be left for the project was going to be planting, but then realized that the land still needed to be softened and manipulated further. The very first thing we did was grading the flat parcels of small land. The part that took the longest was the softening and breaking of the compressed soil. During that phase only the guys were able to work with the hardened land. After the soil was softened the land was manipulated into lower and higher areas, and what was dug out of one area was put onto another to dramatize low and high areas. Then after the rough grading was completed, the fine grading was done to make smoother transitions between the high and the low.
After the grading was done what came next was my favorite part of the whole day, the planting. First we started by placing the pots right on the desired planting spot. Then we dug holes two times larger than plant and almost as deep and filled with water twice and let it drain completely. Then came the secrets of successful planting. We added a scoop of compost in the hole and before placing the plant the roots were dipped into a liquid tea compost. At last after the plant was placed in the whole we watered the planted plant.
At last we did one of the most important things of the project that goes unseen, the irrigation system. if the plants aren’t watered properly they don’t thrive and the design dies with it. The irrigation that was used in the project was drip irrigation which was set on a timer. I didn’t work on the set up of the timer nor the more technical parts but I helped get every plant its own drip. After all the plants had a drip line the mulch was added to cover the soil and add additional nutrients and a uniform color and texture. At Last I wasn’t able to stay until the very end to see the garden 100% completed but at the end it looked good.
Even though I only volunteered for the very last phase of the construction there was still much to be done. The work consisted of grading, planting, drip irrigation and final touches & cleanup. It was an enriching educational experience. The part I liked the most was definitely learning how to plant properly and how the drip irrigation worked. I look forward to more volunteer opportunities.