Hi friends! Spring has arrived in San Antonio, and we’ve already begun planting in the Children’s Vegetable Garden. Our little gardeners were pretty excited to see sprouts peeking through the soil already! We’re a bit behind on updating the blog, so let’s run through a quick recap of weeks one & two before catching up to week three…
Week 1 (February 17): This was our first week together for the Spring season (yay!), and after a long winter (well, maybe not that long), we were all ready to get some plants in the ground. After going over a few garden related agenda items, the children got down to business. Before we planted, we lightly scratched fertilizer into the areas we’d be working in. To do this we lightly scratched granular fertilizer (we used Medina Growing Green Organic Fertilizer) to the soil with a hand cultivator. Next, 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.
Potato planting: Dig two trenches – one trench for red and one for white potatoes. Make the trenches 18 to 24 inches apart, and 4 inches deep. After dusting the trench with half a cup of soft rock phosphate, plant each potato seed piece evenly spaced 6 inches apart. Fill in the trench, gently level the soil out, and water lightly.
Broccoli planting: Pre-soak the broccoli transplants in a bucket of water, filled up to the lip of their rootball, until all the air bubbles come out. Plant these guys a little below the soil line, or as deep as the first set of leaves. Did your starts come in a peat pot? If so, none of the peat pot should be visible after planting and watering.
Week 2: We started our workday by checking in on the progress of our plants from last week. After making sure our broccoli wasn’t leaning or our tubers weren’t showing, we started our agenda for this week by scratching fertilizer into the parts of our plots that we would be working in today. Next, we planted 2 ‘Cheers’ Head cabbage transplants and 2 ‘Snow Crown’ cauliflower transplants.
Like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are cole crops. Now, you might think that’s a typo and should say “COLD” crops, but nope, that’s not the case. The family these plants belong to is actually called cole crops.
Cabbage planting: It’s important to think about spacing with all plants – but cabbage will definitely spread out as it grows – so make sure to leave 18 inches between each plant.
Cauliflower planting: Like the broccoli from last week, presoak the cauliflower transplants in water until all the air bubbles come out.
Pro Tip: At the end of each meeting we take some time and fertilize. We use Hasta-Gro , an organic fertilizer. Mix 1 oz. of Hasta-Gro with half of the water can, about 1 gallon of water . Each plot only needed a quarter bucket of mixed liquid fertilizer for their cabbage, cauliflower and last week’s broccoli. We made sure NOT to let any of the fertilizer get on the leaves, just on the soil around the plants. (If the fertilizer gets on the leaves, simply wash it off with water.)
The instructors then applied Spinosad, an organic pesticide, to the leaves of all the green, leafy plants. We diluted it at 2 oz. per 1 gallon of water and applied about 1 quart to all the veggies in each bed.
Finally! We’re up to speed!
Week 3: We started this week by checking in on the progress of the our plants from last week. The gardeners were pretty excited to see green from their potatoes peeking out of the soil! Just two weeks after planting:
Interested in some behind the scenes/insider information on how we keep our garden so successful? (lowers voice) *We separate the garden into sections, and assign “Section Leaders” to help guide each group of gardeners through the agenda each week.* This tactic makes it possible to ensure every section has suitable direction and supervision. We’ll highlight a section each week here. This week we’ll start with (drumroll)…Section 9!
^^ Section 9 ^^
Like always we began by scratching granular fertilizer into the area of the beds that we would be working in today. This week we planted ‘Yerba Buena’ spearmint. The children’s garden actually already has a gorgeous raised bed of this tasty herb – take a look:
Spearmint planting: The gardeners in Section 9 had a great time learning about how to properly plant spearmint from their section leaders. Make sure to dig a hole big enough for the transplant, and then firm the plant into the soil gently. Finally, water it a couple of times with a watering can. Pretty simple instructions for an awesome herb, I’d say! Check out Section 9 learning and planting their Yerba Buena spearmint:
That’s all for now, friends! Don’t forget to fertilize!
Make sure to tune in next week to stay updated with our Children’s Vegetable Garden, and get helpful tips for planting your own successful backyard garden.