Week 5- September 16, 2017

Hello Gardeners!

Special thanks to volunteer Michelle for helping me out and taking pictures this weekend. We volunteers have lives that get in the way sometimes! This program runs twice a year, so 32 weeks total. It’s quite a large commitment for all of us!

Many more plantings were scheduled for today. One cup of Ladybug Fertilizer should be added to where the bush beans will be planted. 2 cups should be applied between the cucumber trellis and the tomato cage, and 2 cups between the cucumber trellis and the end of the plot. All plots need to “Deep Dig” this fertilizer in with previously added compost, at least 4 inches deep and leveled off with the long handed cultivator. Here’s how it should look when you’re finished:


Everything nicely scratched in and leveled off.



At 4 inches deep the soil was moist and cool, but above that was dry and clumpy. Mixing in the compost better breaks up the clumps to allow for a better environment for worms and better drainage



Working the soil


Here are some folks getting their fertilizer and compost in:


As always, we checked on all the other planted veggies. Wayward tomatoes need to be straight and tucked into their cages. If your cucumber is now growing against the trellis, try to remove the bamboo stake gently. Make sure your marigolds are growing well- these aren’t watered by the irrigation lines that volunteers come to turn on several times a week, so they must be watched carefully! Hopefully all the broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower is doing well. Cabbage loopers are often a problem, so gently rub the back of the leaves to destroy any adults or eggs. At the end of the day, and after thorough watering, they will be drenched with Javelin Bt diluted at one teaspoon powder to one gallon of water, along with 2 drops of Ivory detergent. This should prevent cabbage looper caterpillars. This organic pesticide is very expensive, so don’t waste any! Whatever remains in the can can be used on the planted kale and tomato plants.


Here a parent is showing the male cucumber flower that fell off, and explaining that the fruit is growing because it was fertilized by bees


a cucumber flower

Our plantings today are 3 rows of “Provider” bush beans with 15 seeds per row, 5 “Straight Neck” yellow squash seeds, 2 “Toscano” kale transplants, and 2 “Tango” celery transplants. Can you believe everything that fits in this one plot?!

The measurements for the bush beans were laid out last week. We dug small trenches an inch wide and an inch deep for each of the three rows. Each row should have 15 seeds equally spaced about 3 inches apart. Seeds should be dropped sideways, not up and down, to prevent them washing away. Seeds were covered with excess soil and lightly tamped in and thoroughly watered. Plant tags were added.


Preparing to plant beans


More planning bean placement


Beans laid sideways

Next the squash were planted. The measurement from the outer edge of the cucumber trellis to the inside edge at the end of the plot should be 48 inches.  The center of this area was located. The first squash seed was planted here, an inch below the surface, with the pointy end up, and firmly tamped in. The other four seeds were planted 1 ft from the first in an “X”. The area was thoroughly watered and tagged with one tag.



Squash planning


More squash planning


Planting squash seeds

Note that all transplants are thoroughly watered before planting!

Next the kale was planted. They should be planted 16 inches away from the middle of each of last weeks planted cauliflower plants. Space each plant 12 inches away from the top and bottom of the inside part of the plot, 18 inches from each other. Leave the peat pot on! Firm the plants in well, but don’t damage the stem or leaves. Tag it!


Working the soil between plantings


Planting kale

Last, we planted celery. The celery transplants will be planted in the middle between the outer edge of the cucumber trellis and the outer lip of the tomato cage. This planting area should measure about 6′, so we found the middle. Each plant should be 12 inches away from the top and bottom of the inside part of the plot, and 18 inches from each other. Plants were placed in, firmed in, and tagged.

We fertilized all plants in each plot with a full gallon of Hasta-Gro. The recipe for this was 2 oz of Hasta-Gro for one gallon of water (which is only half a can, as the cans are 2 gallons).

Whew! What a busy day. The irrigation system was turned on for 12-15 minutes, while we monitored for clogs as always, trusty paperclip in hand. All tools were cleaned and returned to the shed.

It isn’t too late to get your home garden started. Google is your friend for building raised beds! Here is the AgriLife resource for building a raised bed, and here is how to choose a garden site. Here are the plants you can do for fall. Note that many of these dates haven’t yet passed, and several of these veggies can be grown in containers! I grow my tomatoes in containers and love it. Note that some of these grow best from transplants, so support small businesses and buy these plants locally. Milbergers, Rainbow Gardens, and Fanick’s are a few located here in San Antonio.

See ya’ll next week!



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