Here at the SABOT Children’s Veggie Garden we are lifetime learners, always curious about new plants and how to better improve our gardens! Below, a garden volunteer presents the agenda for planting our BHN 968 ‘Dwarf Cherry Surprise’ Tomato. It is also a Texas Superstar Plant! Click here to learn more about their extraordinarily sweet taste and other traits!
Before the tomato planting, Master Gardener John Maldonado demonstrates how to check the plants for pests! This week we are checking our cole crop plants for those pesky Cabbage Loopers and making sure there are no roly pollies on our potatoes. Our program considers more than 3 rolly pollies on any one plant an infestation.
On to the planting! First, we made sure to lift up the N-sulate covering of our ‘Tycoon’ Tomato transplant from last week in order to let the tomato plant breathe a little.
Then we set to work on our BHN 968 ‘Dwarf Cherry Surprise’ Tomato plot by fertilizing the area of the plot inside the tomato cage with 1 cup of Ladybug Organic Fertilizer, scratching it into the soil and making sure the soil is nice and wet. Next we determined the center point inside the tomato cage and marked it with a bamboo stick.
After removing the stakes and setting the cage aside, we dug a hole as deep as and slightly wider than the container of the BHN 968 ‘Dwarf Cherry Surprise’ Tomato (smaller than the ‘Tycoon’ Tomato from last week) just so that the root system is either even with the soil line or about 1 inch above. We dusted the base and sides of the hole with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rock phosphate.
After filling in the hole, we checked that none of the roots were showing but also avoided crowning too much soil around the stem. We shaped the soil into a well developed berm (circular ring) about 12 inches away from the stem of the plant to retain water and nutrients in the surrounding soil.
After applying 1 cup of Ladybug Organic Fertilizer just inside the berm of her ‘Tycoon’ Tomato plant,’ this miniature master gardener waters both her tomato plants. We watered but only a teensy bit since the rain was already getting our soil nice and saturated!
One of our dutiful volunteers, Esther, mixed 1 oz of Hasta Gro per 1 gallon of water. Here she divvies up the liquid fertilizer so that each plot will use a total of 1/2 gallon of Hasta Gro mixed with water on all of their green plants.
We also reclosed the Nsulate covers on our Tycoon Tomatoes, making sure to provide added security with black clips since clothespins can come loose in a strong wind.
Take a look at the leaves of the ‘Red Salsa’ Salvia we planted last week in the picture to the left. The reason for the yellow striped color on the leaves is due to the chilly night time temperatures. As we progress more into springtime and the evening temperatures rise, we will not see this yellow striped color on the leaves as much.
In the photo on the right, you can see a tiny yellow blossom on on of the Texas Superstar ‘Tycoon’ Tomato transplants from last week. This blossom is where the tomato will eventually present itself.
GUESS WHAT?!? SABOT veggie garden just got more helping hands! Three interns from the current Class 61 Master Gardeners course came out to get their hands dirty. Dr. Parsons came to speak last week to the current master gardener class about vegetable gardening so what better time than now to come out? Thanks Ernest, Vicky and Kelly for helping out our community!
Dr. Parsons also showed the Master Gardeners how to navigate the Plant Answers website. Be sure to check it out to discover new recipes for your veggies, read scholarly articles about horticulture and answer any questions about your garden! Right now it is also featuring an amazing gallery of 2017 Texas Bluebonnets!