Kendall Center Garden

Join your community outside in Kendall Square to help plant, maintain and harvest the Kendall Center Garden! Learn how to grow-your-own with professional assistance from Green City Growers’ urban farmers. Weekly sessions are held Wednesday’s at the Kendall Roof Garden!

The garden is open to the public and free for all participants. Tasks geared to all skill levels, no change of clothes is necessary!

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November 7: Fall Shutdown

Hi Kendall Center!

On Wednesday I had my last visit of the season to the Kendall Center Rooftop Garden, and I did the fall shutdown. I removed the rest of the plants, harvesting everything that was ready, and I finished covering the beds on the left with salt marsh hay for a winter mulch. I also blew out the irrigation, but when I tried to remove the timer it seemed that the water was still on, so I will have to come back to retrieve it another time. In total this season, we harvested 256 pounds of produce, and 179 pounds of that was donated!

Thank you for a great season, and I look forward to gardening with you again in the spring!

October 31: Happy Halloween!

Hi Kendall Center!

On Wednesday we continued to harvest some of the last of our fall crops and clear out the beds. We added mulch to the beds on the left side of the garden, applying it around the remaining plants, and over the top of the strawberries. We also planted garlic in the front left bed. Garlic is planted in the late fall because it is a bulb, and it needs a head start for its roots to start developing before the stems emerge early in the spring. Next week is my last visit, and I will need to blow out the irrigation lines and remove the timer. Currently, the water is still turned on, and because our timer is directly connected to the main line, I can’t remove it yet. Will the water be turned off by next week? If not, I will have to make a quick trip back to the site after the water has been turned off to finish taking care of the irrigation lines.

October 24: Light Harvest

Hi Kendall Center!

On Wednesday we had a pretty light day in the garden, as the beds are starting to empty out and there are fewer tasks to do as we move towards the end of the season. We harvested a few things, including one of the cabbages, removed the peppers and eggplant, and moved some cover crop to try to even out the coverage over the beds. Next week the big task will be mulching the three beds on the left, and continuing to harvest some fall veggies.

October 17: Cold Season

Kendall Center,

Yesterday we continued to harvest and clear out the beds as we head towards the end of the season. We pulled out the cucumber and bean plants, and then removed the trellising on the beds, which will be replaced next season. In anticipation of the cold weather last night and today, we picked just about every pepper and eggplant that we could find, and next week we will remove those plants as well. We also bunched herbs for drying, treated some plants for protection against caterpillars and aphids, and patched cover crop in a couple of places. I noticed yesterday that the brussels sprouts are finally taking shape on the stalks, and I will be excited to harvest those in a couple weeks!

October 10: Fall Harvesting

Kendall Center,

We got to enjoy one last summer day yesterday, and the garden continues to be very productive. The harvest included kale and herbs, red noodle beans, eggplant, and still more strawberries. The cover crop is coming up very nicely, and next time we will begin to mulch the beds without cover crop, to protect the soil over the winter. See you next week!

October 3: Preparing for the Cold

Kendall Center,

The garden is starting to look very different as we prepare the beds for late fall, and yesterday we pulled out our last tomato plants. The green tomatoes that we harvested off the plants can still be ripened in a warm dry place, and there are also lots of uses for green tomatoes! The cover crop that we seeded last week is coming up nicely, and we added a bit more yesterday in a few empty patches. I also repaired the irrigation line, fertilized the strawberry plants, and applied some slug repellent. The cucumber plants were treated with a baking soda solution to protect against fungal disease, and we seeded some arugula (one of the fastest growing garden crops) in place of napa cabbage that was harvested. We also harvested peppers, bok choy, kale, and a bounty of fresh herbs.

September 26: End of summer!

Kendall Center,

On Wednesday we marked the end of the summer season by pulling out most of our tomato plants. We harvested some ripe tomatoes and lots of green ones as well that may ripen if left in a warm sunny place. We also harvested some herbs, peppers, eggplant, and kale, among other things, and applied a couple different crop protection methods for slugs and aphids that we have been noticing in the garden. Towards the end of our garden session, we sowed cover crop in three of the beds, filling open space and seeding underneath existing larger plants. The cover crop will grow for a few weeks this fall, and then die over the winter and form an early spring mulch, which will enrich the soil, provide a good environment for beneficial microorganisms, and prevent erosion. I did notice that the irrigation line has been cut (it looks like maybe it was mowed) where it hooks up to our first bed. I have turned off our irrigation timer so that the line doesn’t spray water over the grass, and I will bring materials to repair it next week.

September 19: Harvesting and weeding!

Kendall Center,

Yesterday in the garden we made some big changes, including cutting down the sunflowers and harvesting some seeds from the flower heads. We also removed most of our squash plants, freeing up space to plant crops like fennel and bok choy. In addition to the sunflower seeds, we harvested a nice variety of other crops, including kale, eggplant, and tomatoes. Our tomato plants are starting to decline because of a variety of factors, including the weather, powdery mildew, and early blight, but there are so many green fruit on the plants we decided to give them another week before we decide to remove the plants, in hopes that some of the fruit will ripen. After harvesting. we pruned and weeded, scouted for pests, and treated our plants with kaolin clay and baking soda solution to protect against caterpillars and powdery mildew! See you next time!

September 12: So many tomatoes!

Kendall Center,

The rooftop garden continues to thrive, and we got a big harvest with tons of cherry tomatoes and slicing tomatoes. The sunflowers are almost ready to harvest, but we will wait for a drier day to remove the seeds. There are a couple of delicate squash maturing on the vine, and many small fruit setting as well. After harvesting, pruning, and weeding, we found a little space to plant some lettuce in the front bed. We also treated the squash plants to protect against powdery mildew. Looking forward to another great tomato harvest next week!

August 29: Hot, Hot, Hot!

Kendall Center,

The sweltering hot weather kept people inside yesterday but I did some garden maintenance and got another colorful harvest. After the vigorous pruning last week, the squash plants pulled through and had lots of new growth including flowers and small fruit, so I left the plants for one more week. I also pruned back the flower bed, and thinned some of the germinating sprouts. There were lots of bell peppers, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes to harvest, and it looks like there should be a good amount of cucumbers next week. The acorn squash is starting to show signs of powdery mildew, so I sprayed a baking soda solution for crop protection and pruned some leaves. Looking forward to working with everyone next week!

August 22: Gloomy Skies, Great Harvest

Kendall Center,

Despite the gloomy forecast, it turned out to be a beautiful day in the garden, and we got a lot accomplished. To start, we harvested over 11 pounds of produce including all the fun summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash, along with a few more strawberries, a fresh cut of salad greens, and some herbs. We also thinned some of the plants that have been sprouting over the past couple weeks, including the carrots and turnips. Some of our squash and zucchini plants that have been in the ground a long time are beginning to succumb to powdery mildew, so I gave them an aggressive pruning today, in hopes of getting one more harvest next week before we remove the plants. We also saw that the sunflowers have finished blooming, but the seeds are starting to become apparent on the flower heads. It will be fun to harvest those in a couple weeks!

August 8: Harvesting and Mulching

Kendall Center,

We had a beautiful harvest today full of colorful summer veggies, including our first full size tomatoes, and many delicious strawberries. In addition to the harvest, we pruned and trellised the tomatoes, some of which are growing far beyond their trellis. We also weeded, seeded one last row of carrots, and watered our new plants. Lastly, we added salt marsh hay around the base of the tomato plants. The salt marsh hay will act as a mulch and will help regulate soil moisture, prevent disease transfer, and will discourage weed germination. It is especially helpful to use with tomato plants, but can be applied throughout a garden as well! Next week we have more strawberries to look forward to and we will dig up the rest of the potatoes as well!

August 1: Trellis Woes!

Kendall Center,

It was great to have so many people come out to the garden on Wednesday. We dug up the rest of the garlic and one of our potato plants. Most of the potatoes were still on the small side, so we’ll give the other two a little more time in order to get the best size possible. We also harvested a good amount of strawberries, which was a nice late summer treat! Our giant sunflowers are finally blooming, and the garden continues to thrive!

July 25th: Trellis Woes!

Kendall Center,

I arrived to the garden on Wednesday to find that heavy tomato plants combined with the extremely windy weather we’ve been having was too much for our trellis–it had ripped off of the frame and there was a tangle pile of tomatoes lying in one of the beds. Luckily there was very minimal plant damage, and I was able to untangle the plants, prune them, and tie them up to the frame of the trellis, supported with bamboo stakes. This may end of being a sturdier long term solution for such big heavy plants, but I will also bring materials to repair the trellis next time. After addressing this, we harvested more than 15 pounds of produce, including the last of the beans, some beautiful heads of garlic, and our first eggplants. We were interested to see a few new strawberries growing in the patch, which may mean that we have a few ever-bearing variety plants mixed in with our June bearers. I’m excited to see if we have any ripe fruit next week!

July 18th: 8 Participants

Kendall Center,

We had a huge harvest today, including a few oversized squash and the rest of the carrots. It was great to have a few new people come out and join the garden crew! In the space created by the carrot harvest, we planted some brussels sprouts, and also replaced a cucumber plant that wasn’t doing well. We also spent some time weeding, helping to support our trellised plants, and removing damaged leaves from the beet and chard plants. Eggplant, peppers and tomatoes are just around the corner!

July 11th: 8 Participants

Kendall Center,

It was awesome to meet so many new people today and we accomplished a lot in the garden. Our summer crops are coming right along–the peppers and eggplants are flowering, there are lots of green tomatoes growing, and we harvested our first zucchini and summer squash today! We also dug up our first few bulbs of garlic and pulled out about half of the bed of carrots. The peas were starting to die back and weren’t producing nearly as much as they had in the past couple weeks, so we removed those plants to make room for other things that will use the trellis space, like cucumbers and pole beans. We also planted another generation of zucchini–a golden variety this time. All in all, we got almost 16 pounds of produce and it was a great garden session!

July 3rd: Maintenance day

Hi Kendall Center,

I stopped by the garden on Tuesday to do a little harvesting and maintenance, since there was no session on Wednesday due to the holiday. The peas and strawberries have started to slow down, but the beans are still producing in full force, and the herbs look awesome as well. I removed some of the sunflowers from the front bed and planted a couple zinnia in their place. The sunflower variety we have was meant to be grown for shoots and we left them to grow as an experiment, but there were so many that they were shading out other things in the bed. I helped the cucumber and tomato plants grow up the trellis with some velcro tape, and got one last harvest of mustard greens before removing the plants to make room for the tomatoes to grow. I’m excited to see what’s ready to harvest next week!


June 27th: Many Hands!

Hi Kendall Center!

We had a lot to do on Wednesday so it was fantastic to have so many helping hands. Included in the big harvest was about 3 pounds of beans and about 4 pounds of peas, both of which are very time consuming to pick! We also got some more strawberries and a nice selection of herbs. The beds are all looking fantastic and the bee flower mix is growing like crazy (and is full of bees)! Next week we will not have our session on Wednesday because of the holiday, but I will stop by to make sure the garden is taken care of, and I’m looking forward to another big harvest with everyone the following week!

June 20th: Final Spring Harvest

Kendall Center gardeners,

The garden is thriving and I got a sizable harvest on Wednesday, including another 4 quarts of beautiful strawberries, and the first of the green beans. We are still battling leaf miner on the beet and chard plants, but it seems as though we’re starting to get ahead of it and I was able to get a nice chard harvest. With the little bit of space left in the beds, I planted an acorn squash and interplanted the last of the tomatoes with some mustard that was already growing. Next week there will be lots more strawberries, beans, and peas, and probably some carrots too! I harvested 13 pounds of produce and no one was there to bring it home! I hope to see some people next Wednesday.

June 14th: 4 Quarts of Strawberries

Hi Kendall Center!

We had an awesome time in the garden on Wednesday and we were able to harvest more than four quarts of delicious strawberries from one bed, with lots more to come next week! We also took some time to finish tasks that had been needing to get done for a couple weeks, like trellising peas and tomatoes, and thinning beets and carrots. The garden is looking abundant! Looking forward to the first pea harvest next week!

June 6th: Summer Planting

Hello Kendall Center,

We had a great garden session on Wednesday, and we were able to harvest a variety of greens and our very first strawberries of the season! After harvesting, we cleared out some space for more summer plants like squash, peppers, and eggplant. We also took some time to set up bird netting over the areas where the strawberries are. It doesn’t seem like birds have been an issue so far in the garden, but we don’t want to take any chances. Next week we should get a bumper crop, see you all then!

May 30th: Strawberry Feilds

Hi Kendall Center!

It was nice to meet some new people in the garden today, and have some help with the 11-pound harvest that we got. The beds all continue to look great, and the plants are growing very quickly. The strawberry patch in particular has been exciting to watch–it looks like we will have lots and lots of strawberries in just a couple weeks! It seems that our ant problem has been taken care of, but leaf miner continues to be a little bit of a challenge, and some of our chard harvest was damaged because of them. Looking forward to lots more planting and harvesting next week!

May 23rd: Tomato Starts!

Hi Kendall Center!

The garden continues to thrive and I got another great harvest today. I planted the first of the tomatoes alongside a trellis, and also got some cucumber seeds in the ground as we shift in

to the summer season. There have been a few kale casualties in one bed where the ants have been wreaking havoc, but I sprinkled on some Diatomaceous Earth today to treat for them. Looking forward to my next visit and hoping to see more faces. 

May 16th: Let’s Grow!

Kendall Center Gardeners,

We got our first harvest today, and despite finding a few pests on some plants, the garden is looking great. Hopefully, now that we are getting into harvesting season more people might join me in the garden program. With just one participant we accomplished a lot, harvesting Spinach and Radishes for a total of 1 Pound. Much more produce to come, join us Wednesdays at noon for some gardening!

May 9th: Spring Start-up

Hi Kendall Center!

Starting off the growing season this May we are watching healthy greens sprout up and flourish in the beautiful weather. Today I did a lot of housekeeping-weeding, cultivating, thinning, and adjusting irrigation. I also planted lettuce, scouted for pests on our seedlings and found some leaf miner eggs to squash. Hopefully we can stay ahead of the bugs this summer! There should be some harvesting to do next week, I’m looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday!

Cooking Demos at the Kendall Center Roof

For the past few weeks, Chef Joe Gatto has been teaching free cooking demos at the Kendall Center Rooftop Garden, using fresh produce from the garden! There’s only one left — next Wednesday, August 10th at 6 PM.

The event is free, but space is limited. Be sure to sign up at the Kendall Center website! And remember, free gardening classes are held every Wednesday from noon to one.


May 4th: A Kendall Center Garden Update

Hi Kendall Square folks! A quick update on all things gardening at Kendall Square. We’ve planted in a number of spring crops — lots of greens like lettuce and chard — as well as herbs, peas, carrots and more. Pretty soon we’ll be getting into the summer crops, and we’ll be “re-launching” the Kendall Square garden in the beginning of June. Stay tuned for more details.

The South Park gardens will be moving to a new home at CityPoint in the next few weeks, so moving forward we will be hosting weekly programs at the roof garden!

April 13: Getting the Rooftop Garden Ready!

This week at the Kendall Center rooftop garden, we enjoyed some bright, sunny weather. We planted and seeded in a number of different crops: bok choy, broccoli, carrots, dill, nasturtiums (which are an edible flower!), kale, lavender, lettuce, parsley, radishes, rosemary, and violas. Many spring crops, like radishes, have a relatively short growing cycle, which means that they will be ready for harvest in less than a month! On the flip side crops like kale can be planted in the spring and, if properly maintained, continually harvested from throughout the entire growing season!

As a note, the garden sessions at South Park are temporarily on hold! Please stay tuned to this blog, and we will be sure to let you know when sessions resume. Thank you for your understanding!

End of 2015 Update

foodforfreeThanks to the efforts of our volunteers at the Kendall Center gardens, we grew and donated hundreds of pounds of produce for donation to Food For Free! The Food For Free organization obtains fresh food and distributes it within the local emergency food system where it can reach those in need. Their Produce Rescue program now serves 80+ food programs each year, including not only pantries, meals, and shelters, but also daycare centers, after-school programs, clinics, and drop-in centers. Thank you again for a great year, and we look forward to seeing you all this spring!