Community Garden Blog

Starting to Come to a Close

September 6, 2019

Getting back from vacation, I would like to thank those who are trying to keep the weeds down in the herb garden this year.  Next week I hope to get that garden cleared out.  I didn’t mulch this year because the soil was getting compacted and the plants were having trouble growing.  Since that problem is solved, we can finish clearing out the herb garden and start transistioning the north part into our butterly garden. After that, maybe we can mulch down for the winter.  Yep, the season is starting to come to a close.  We worked hard this year! I would say it was a hard year due to too much rain. I sometimes call these years transitional years.  It was a good year for some crops (like the squash, which is a native plant) and not so good for others (like peppers which are not native). The beans just keep coming and coming!

It looks like we will have 2-3 squash harvests and I have never seen so many HUGE squash. We may have some that will break our 8.5 lb record. Our pepper crop produced a fair amount of peppers, unfortunately the peppers grew between the stems and got misshapen or moldy because they couldn’t expand.  We did harvest over 85 pounds of peppers which is a fair harvest.

I will continue to keep everyone updated as we continue to wind down the season. Again, THANK YOU to all of those that have made this year possible. 

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

Fall Garden is Starting to Surface

August 16, 2019

Thank you to those who continue to help us with the garden.  

We are starting to get some production again! We harvested 17.75 pounds of peppers, 8 pounds of carrots and a ½ pound of beans from the garden this week.

Earlier in the year, we planted radishes, peas and lettuce for our fall garden.  The radishes are up and some of the peas are starting to surfacing, but the lettuce hasn’t surfaced yet.

The birds have found the sunflowers and are starting to eat the seeds, and the bees have found the sunflowers also and are working on pollinating the new ones. 

As the weeks go by, we will continue to harvest the peppers. My goal is 50 pounds of peppers for the year and we should make that goal as long as the weather holds out. 

Our overall goal for the garden this year was to get 188 pounds of produce to meet our FIVE TON total for garden production since 2011.  So far this year, we have  produced 180 pounds!  We should meet our FIVE TON goal next week.  


Fun fact: some things that weigh FIVE TONS include: a big hippopotamus,  an Asian Elephant, or three pick-up trucks.

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

Beautiful Sunflowers in Bloom

July 31, 2019

Progress is slow with fruiting this year probably because of all of the rain earlier in the season. Our garden demo box is producing beautiful tomatoes but unfortunately the cabbages and broccoli are not doing so well. I’m not sure if it’s the soil type or the shading.  Next week, we will be spreading some mulch in the garden. Thank you to The City of Bellevue for providing the mulch for us to use.  It will be spread on the low lands to keep down the weeds and help with moisture retention. 

I’ve gotten a lot of nice comments about the sunflowers this year. Some of our climber beans have attched and started climbing up our sunflowers. 

A big thank you to Bob Beck for keeping the lowlands tilled and the weeds down, and Cat Valero for keeping the weeds down around the boxes. They have never looked so good! 

This week I also plan to plant for the fall garden.  We will be planting lettuce and radishes for fall salads. 

If anyone is interested in volunteering their time in the gardens, please contact me at 419.484.5421.

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

Climber beans on sunflower stalks
Low-land garden at The Bellevue Hospital
Welcome New Volunteer

July 18, 2019

We have a newcomer to our garden volunteer force!  We'd like to welcome Todd Brown. He will primarily working on the garden boxes during his time here. 

Everything is growing pretty good, although when I planted beans in the strawberry boxes recently, I noticed that the soil was already dry.  That happened quickly in this heat!! 

We recently had a great potato harvest from the demo box, roughly 10 potatoes. They were beautiful! I must say I do envy the garden boxes and the herb garden that the hospital has. I built two boxes at home last year and plan on building three more this year. We will see how mine produce this year at home. 

I have been approved to put in a butterfly garden in the other half of the herb garden. If anyone is interested in helping me with this, please email me at and we will get started.

I ordered a load of mulch from the City of Bellevue and hope to have it by the week of August 5th.  This will be a busy week as we will be putting in the fall plants, mulching, and keeping the weeds down. 

Thank you for all of your help with the community gardens.  Because of all your help, we are having a great year. 

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

Garden Box
Potato Harvest
Harvests Are Going Well

July 12, 2019

The strawberry harvest is done for now and I am pruning the boxes so the berries are bigger next year.  They were kind of small this year, probably due to overcrowding. The plan for next year is to plant green beans in between the strawberry plants to increase the nutrients for the strawberry plants.  We received a large donation of green bean seeds last year and their germination will not be very good next year for production. We also received a generous donation of peas and will be planting them in sometime in August. 

Let’s hope the rains continue on a regular basis so production will continue to be good!  To date we have produced:

50 lbs. strawberries, 68 lbs. of lettuce mix, 1 lb. of peas, 3 lbs. of rhubarb, 3 lbs. of onions, 5 lbs. of radishes, 6 oz. of cilantro, 2 lbs. of chives

We still have peppers and squash that haven't started to produce yet. 

I would like to thank Cat Valero and Bob Beck for their hardwork taking care of the lowlands this year. Kathy Ackerman and Patti Gray have helped with the herb gardens and we are seeing progress in those. Thank you all! 

So far the year is going smoother than previous years although we did get off to a rocky start with all the rains.

Thank you to everyone who help with this wonderful project!

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

Demo Box
Community Garden
Mixed Greens Galore

July 2, 2019

The garden is really starting to take off!  Today we harvested 19 salad bags of mixed greens.  Last week the demo box, which is used as a guide to show how much food can be produced from one box, produced 20 onions and 20 salad bags. Today it produced 11 oz. of peas, enough for about 4 servings, and they are just getting started! 

I fenced the peas so they will climb up and not interfere with the other plants.  One of the tomato plants has tomatoes on it and should be ready to pick in a couple of weeks.  The onions were replanted and we will see how they do.  I am also harvesting rhubarb from this box and have gotten about 2 lbs. so far. 

The strawberries are pretty much done for the season and we will be getting into the boxes and pruning heavily.  When finished, the boxes should have ten, 12-inch squares.  When that is complete we will plant green beans in the blank areas to add extra fertilizer to the crop for next year.  

A big thanks to our amazing garden volunteers for weeding, harvesting, and tilling the garden this year.  We couldn't do it without your help!!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE 

Snow Peas
Recent strawberry harvest
Nearly 125 Pounds Harvested So Far!

June 27, 2019

I'd like to send a big thank-you to the volunteers that have showed up to help out in the garden these past few weeks. To date, we have harvested:

- Almost 50 lbs. of strawberries

- Nearly 67 lbs. of salad mix 

- 2 lbs. of chives

- 3 lbs. of onions 

- 6 oz. of cilantro from the demo box 

- 5 lbs. of radishes

For a total of nearly 125 lbs. of produce so far this growing season!

We are starting the second round of planting with radishes, onions and lettuce very soon. Right now, our main focus is weeding!

The herb garden is coming along nicely and after some thought, I have decided to let the herbs grow and fill in this year with harvests starting next year. The garden boxes are also producing well except for the squash, and we may have to consider replanting some of the squash seeds.  

Again, we are always looking for volunteers to help with our garden. If you are interested, please feel free to contact me at 419.484.5421 for more information. 

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE 

Recent strawberry harvest
Our gardening demo box is flourishing this season!
Rain Is a Good Thing

June 17, 2019

Between all the rain we've had and the fertilizer, the gardens at The Bellevue Hospital are producing great!  We picked 10 lbs. of strawberries and 7.5 lbs. of radishes last week.  This week we will be harvesting some produce for the salad bags we make, including lettuce and arugula. The culinary garden has also produced its first harvest of onions last week.   

The garden boxes are also producing great this year with onions, radishes, peppers and different types of lettuce.  

We are always looking for volunteers to help us with our produce harvests and weeding. If you are interested in expanding your green-thumb and want to help with our Community Garden, please contact me at 419.484.5421. 

Thank you, 

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE


10 lbs. of strawberries were harvested last week
Garden boxes at The Bellevue Hospital
Herb/Culinary Garden at The Bellevue Hospital
Bunnies in the Garden

May 18, 2019
Last week, we had quite the surprise of finding a bunny nest in the garden. We have been keeping on eye on them and this week the bunnies have their eyes open!  I expect them to be hopping around by next week. I've learned some things about rabbit culture in my OCNV classes:

- the mother only visits the nest twice daily
- after 45 days bunnies are mature and out on their own
- most female rabbits will have up to 5 litters yearly from Feb-Aug and about 50% of the bunnies from the litter will live into the next year
​- if you stumble on a nest like we did, don’t retrieve the bunnies, leave them in the nest. The mother is probably close by gathering food for them or eating for her milk supply. 

The boxes are starting to produce and the second picture is of the demo box which I started planting three weeks ago. The strawberries are starting to flower and we should have berries in June (hence the name 'Juneberry' some people call the plants.) 

Hopefully sometime next week, we can work up the lowlands and plant the rest of the garden.

If the bugs leave us alone, we might have a pretty good year!

Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

bunny nest
bunnies in the garden
demo box
strawberry plants
The 2019 Growing Season Has Begun!

May 15, 2019

With the help of the Bellevue High School Teen Leadership Class, more than 50% of The Bellevue Hospital's community gardens have been planted, which means - the 2019 growing season is underway! Everyone worked hard and I wanted to thank you again for all the work you did. We were able to get the boxes and herb garden planted which included crops such as lettuce, chard, radishes, onions, carrots, sage, cilantro and lemon balm.  The rhubarb was re-planted until we can get the lowlands worked up.  It’s been a wet start to the season, so the crops in the lowlands have not been able to be planted yet. Once planted, these crops will include peppers, squash, sunflowers and green beans. I am looking forward to another successful year in the garden!!
Patti Keller, RD, LD, CDE

Teen Leadership Class from Bellevue High School
Bellevue High School students helping to plant the herb garden
Members of Bellevue High School's Team Leadership Class working in the garden's lowlands