Hi friends! We’re 5 weeks in, and the plants are making great progress and our young gardeners are doing a great job caring for their beds! So far there are a LOT of broccoli heads that have emerged in the garden, as opposed to only one from Week 4! Take a look at the growth in only one week:
^^What a difference ONE week makes^^
Before we got started on any new plantings, we always start with a quick look over of our current plants. Take off any yellowed leaves from your cole crops, keep adding compost to the mound between your potato rows, pick off any tomato leaves that are touching the ground and make sure your tomato cages are secure (this will be really important as the tomatoes grow tall and need strong support).
Week 6: This week we planted squash and beans – which happens to be 2/3rds of the famous Three Sisters companion planting practice. The third veggie is corn! Companion planting is when you plant mutually beneficial plants next to each other in the garden. This way the plants can help each other with things like pest control or increasing crop yields. The beans provide the plant trio (and subsequently soil) with nitrogen. The corn supports the vining beans, and the squash serves as a ground cover to help prevent weeds. Proper spacing is always important when planting your garden, but it’s especially important when planning a companion garden – we don’t want beneficial plants too close or too far away from each other.
Section 4 – AKA The Guardians of the Garden – worked hard getting all their bean seeds rows measured and spaced out properly for a successful garden. Here are the Guardians learning how to plant today’s seeds from their awesome section leader.
‘Cosmos’ Bush Beans
We spaced out each seed 2-3 inches away from each other on top of the soil. When it was time to add another row, we measured 8 inches from the first row. After all the rows were laid out, we carefully planted the seeds about an inch below the surface. Check it out:
‘Gold Star’ Yellow Squash
We also direct seeded our squash – this time in the shape of a diamond instead of in rows. Again, spacing is important here. We measured and marked 20 inches away from our tomato plant for our first seed. Next, we measured and marked 12 inches high and low of seed #1. Finally, we measured 16 inches away from seed #1 to mark with a pole. Each squash seed gets planted at the marked position, just barely below the surface. Firm the seed into the ground, and then water. If any seeds come up during watering, gently plant them back into the ground.
That’s all we’ve got from today, y’all! Be sure to check back in next week!
If you are interested in learning more about vegetable gardening in Texas, or just simply wanting to add to your family library, check out The Texas Vegetable Book by Dr. Sam Cotner.