Hi friends! This past Saturday we really got a taste of what’s to come – our young gardeners and volunteers were sweating in the 93 degree heat. Fortunately it was only for a day, but it’s definitely foreshadowing what’s to come. YeeHaw!
The first thing we do each week is check on our plots and existing plants – how do they look? Is our plot level with no craters? If any plants need to be replaced or soil added to our plot, we do this before starting on our agenda items. One thing we did this week was to add a hill of nutrient rich compost in between our rows of existing potatoes. This chore is super easy and quick to complete. Take a look:
^^Look at all that new growth!!^^
Are there holes in our cabbages or broccoli leaves? If so, it might be the infamous cabbage looper. Cabbage loopers appear initially as tiny white eggs, and then emerge as little green caterpillars. They may look adorable, but don’t buy it. Squish or otherwise dispose of these. We took some time at the end of our garden routine to apply Javelin/Bt Worm killer to any plants that had holes.
Week 4: This week we planted our tomato plants. Our awesome volunteer leaders first demonstrated the planting process for their respective sections. Section 8 is the lucky group to be highlighted here this week.
They sure had fun checking in on their existing plants and getting their tomatoes into the ground.
Our gardeners began by applying one cup of Medina organic granulated fertilizer to the spot they would be planting in. After digging a hole slightly wider than the container of the tomato plants, the kids dusted half a cup of rock phosphate over the tomato hole. The next step is ensuring that their planting’s root system is even with the soil grade, or even slightly higher. Make a berm around the plant that’s as wide as the plant leaves (or “as wide as the plant’s arms stick out” as I like to say). This berm will keep the water from running off.
Pro Tip – if the roots or root ball is visible after watering, it’s important to add more soil around the base of the plant.
Next, we put our heavy duty tomato cages in place. We like to use very large cages because in past years, our tomatoes have grown to be 5′ or even taller. It’s important to provide sufficient support to prevent the branches from breaking under the weight of the tomatoes. Finally, we put our covers over the tomato cages. We use an N-sulate cover to protect the baby plants from cold or wind. The cover can be clipped on with binder clips, and it must reach the ground.
Of course, don’t forget to fertilize the newly transplanted plants and all the “Green and Growing” plants with liquid fertilizer. We use Hasta-Gro starter mix each week.
Check out the step-by-step slideshow of some of our gardeners from Section 8 planting their tomatoes.
That’s all for this week, friends. Check back in next week for updates from our workday this Saturday!
**Special thanks to Dana Drury for sharing some of her awesome pictures each week!**