As usual, we started with our normal maintenance tasks and then we continued our planting this week with a ‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumber transplant and ‘Provider’ Bush Bean seeds. We postponed planting the cauliflower until next week because they were still a bit too small. But before I talk about the new plantings, I’d like to do a little shout out to the bunching onions we planted last week…don’t they look great!
OK, on to this week’s plants. Cucumbers are easy to plant; we located ours 2 inches from the center of our trellis. Sandra is demonstrating how to plant a cucumber to our gardeners in the pic below, and in the second pic, you can see the tendrils of the cucumber plant. By next week, these will be firmly gripping the trellis (and anything else within reach, which is why it is good to give these plants enough room.)
The bush green beans are the first seeds we have planted this season…up to now we have planted transplants or bulblets. Seeds are easy to grow as long as you remember that depth and spacing is important. For seeds to sprout properly they should not be planted too deep (and this is a common mistake.) If they are planted too close together they will not have enough space. (We’ve discussed the issues with light and disease caused by too-close spacing in a previous post.) Your seed packets (or our agenda, if you are following along with us) will have planting information. When we planted our beans, we wet our soil, then measured and laid out a row, pushed the seed down about ½ inch, covered them, and watered them in. We repeated this for 3 rows of beans. Laying out all the seeds a row at a time means you don’t have to wonder what seed you were in the process of planting when you got distracted by a phone, bird, etc.
In addition to maintaining our individual plots, there are some plots at the CVG that contain just one kind of plant. Some of these are experiments, to see how a certain plant grows. Other sare demonstration plots. As part of our chores, we help maintain these. After finishing with his plot, one of our gardeners helped by watering the chocolate mint.
Remember when we started out our day by checking out the beds for pests, etc? Well, in terms of pests, have a look at these pics…I’ll bet you’ve seen these trails on your plants too. (Ignore the ant photobombing the second picture, he is unrelated to the trails.)
You can click on the picture if you’d like to see a larger version. These trails are caused by leaf miner larvae tunneling inside the leaf. Usually, you don’t need to treat them unless there are a lot of them. And, of course, if it were a crop you were growing for edible leaves, they would not be very appetizing looking. So, we’ll keep an eye on them, but do nothing about it this week.
As always a pic of our plots at the end of our garden day:
Our weekly bonus picture is the flowers on the Hyacinth Bean ‘Ruby Moon’ that is growing on the fence bordering the outside of the CVG:
This is a beautiful vine with lovely purple-pink flowers and beans, great on a fence or on a trellis. I tend to treat it as an ornamental. The flowers attract bees and butterflies; in fact, there were several bees sharing the space with me when I was photographing the flowers. It’s definitely worth considering in your garden. Seed can be easily collected from this annual vine when they are dry to save for next year’s garden.
Lyn Komada, Bexar County Master Gardeners