The first few weeks of the CVG we are planting, planting, planting. This week we planted broccoli, cabbage, and onions. But first–you will be able to repeat this in your sleep by the end of the season!–we weeded and looked over our plants. We didn’t really have many weeds or bugs to speak of so far, so we went on to fertilizing. Once again, the agenda for the CVG Week 2 is posted separately on this blog, so I will only touch on the highlights or interesting things. We spread 4 cups of the Ladybug granular fertilizer on the bed, and scratched it in lightly.
Then it was time to plant our tomatoes. Before we got planting, Sandra demonstrated a great pre-planting tip. When you buy six-packs of plants, the soil may be dry, or starting to dry out, and she recommends a brief soak until the air pockets are gone. In the pic below, she is holding a six pack (of cabbages) in a bucket of water, with the soil submerged just below the water level, until the bubbles stop.
Then we went on to plant 2 cabbage and 2 broccoli transplants. Spacing plants properly is important for healthy plants and a good harvest. The current agenda gives the spacing instructions for these plants, and in the picture below you can see Steven demonstrating how to measure accurately to plant the ‘Cheers’ cabbage. Inexpensive yardsticks and plastic rules are great tools for spacing plants.
Yay, gardener teamwork!!!!! These gardeners are carefully planting their ‘Green Magic’ broccoli.
Our final planting today was multiplying onions. These were picked in the spring, from one of our own perimeter beds at the CVG. Here’s what they look like.
Each of our gardeners planted 16 onions in pairs.
Our wrap-up activities this time included some hand watering, checking the irrigation system, and cleaning our tools.
In the first picture, our gardener is fertilizing the plants with 2 oz of HastaGrow to 1 gallon of water. In the second, another of our gardeners is washing her tools. Cleaning your tools after each use helps reduce the spread of disease AND helps your tools last longer. An inexpensive scrub brush is great at getting dirt off the tools.
In our final walkthroughs of the beds, we noticed a few things worth mentioning…
- Be careful when working around your plants that you don’t accidentally scrape the stem. This tomato plant was scraped and the open wound is an entry point for diseases.
- Be sure that your mulch is a few inches away from your tomato plant stem, as it could causing rotting or bug issues if it is right up against the stem (not to mention perhaps scraping against the stem too.)
Our garden section at the end of the day… tomatoes growing, onions planted to the right of the leftmost tomatoes, and cabbage/broccoli way on the left but too small to make out in this pic.
This week’s extra picture is… well, can you guess?
I won’t keep you wondering…garlic chives inflorescence. (OK, I snuck a fancy botanical term in there, and I’ll wimp out and let wikipedia define (and other related terms) if you are interested.) Let some of your garlic chives bloom and set seed, and the seeds can be gathered or you can let them drop off and reseed.
Lyn Komada, Bexar County Master Gardeners