YAY! SABOT has launched the Children’s Vegetable Garden for the Spring 2017 Season! A misty February morning turned bright and beautiful as kids, parents, grandparents and friends alike came together to learn in one of the nation’s oldest youth gardening programs! Many thanks to all of the Bexar County Master Gardeners and AgriLife Extension volunteers dedicating their time and expertise to the garden!
Special thanks to Milberger’s Landscape and Nursery for providing funds to pay for half of each plot so we can enrich gardening and education as a community!
After covering garden procedure and safety protocol, we planted 1 row of 6 white ‘Kennebec’ Irish potato pieces, 1 row of 6 red ‘Pontiac’ Irish potato pieces and 2 ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli transplants.
‘Green Magic’ Broccoli is a Texas Superstar Plant. Click here to check out the brochure to learn more about what that means and aquaint yourself with other Texas Superstars. You might even see a couple of the other veggies we’re growing on this list!
As you can see above, the red and white potatoes are easy to distinguish from eachother. Notice how one side of the potato is cut and the other side has little green sprouts called ‘eyes.’ The dusty substance on the cardboard and on the cut sides of the potatoes is Phosphate dust, which helps to develop early roots and shoots.
First, our youth gardeners evenly sprinkled their plots with 6 cups of Lady Bug natural derived Alfalfa based Organic Fertilizer. Then they measured for the placement of each potato, spacing them 6 inches apart and marking the spot with bamboo sticks. They dug a trough 4 inches deep and carefully placed each potato with the cut side down into the soil.
Every gardener should label their plot! Once this bed develops into a lush bed of veggies and greenery that popsicle stick will help us identify when and where we planted! These taters should start sprouting foliage in about 5-6 weeks!
Once the potatoes were planted and watered, we moved on to the ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli. Instead of using a seed, we used a Broccoli transplant which means that the plant has already grown a little bit by the time we place it in the soil. It is very important that a WET transplant goes into a WET plot or else the plant might not take to the soil.
In between our 2 tomato cages, we measured 2 holes about 12 inches apart. Then we sprinkled 2 cups of Lady Bug Organic Fertilizer, dug the holes about 4 inches deep and watered. The little fellow above is a FIRST TIME GARDENER! YIPPEE!
This father-son duo planted the broccoli peat pot container a little deeper than the soil line of the hole they had dug, covering the purple color of the main stem so the soil was just below the seedling leaves. As Dad makes sure the broccoli stem is standing straight up, his son gently tamps the surrounding soil. It is important not to compress the soil too much because that can prevent much needed air and nutrient exposure to the plant.
Gardeners concluded their day by watering and fertilizing the rest of the soil in their beds to prepare for next week’s veggie planting and making sure their PVC pipe irrigation systems were working.
If you would like to learn more, be sure to LIKE us on our Bexar County Youth Gardens Program Facebook.