Week 5: March 17, 2018

Hi Friends! The Children’s Vegetable Garden is thriving right now in this wonderful spring weather! Of course we can’t give all the credit to Mother Nature – the garden wouldn’t look this incredible without the dedication and hard work of the gardeners and volunteers.  This past Saturday we were all very impressed when we saw what showed up over the previous week:

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^^Hello there, little broccoli!^^

That’s right friends, we’ve officially got broccoli. Our ‘Green Magic’ broccoli has started to produce tiny – but mighty – heads of broccoli. I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown over this past week! This is a good opportunity to talk about damage done by caterpillars. You might notice that some of the leaves on this plant are missing pieces on the ends – it’s hard to tell by the picture if this was done by caterpillars or done by the gardener. Either way, once noticing the leaves, this young gardener carefully checked the backside of the leaves for caterpillar eggs. Next, the broken (or yellowed) leaves were removed. Finally, after all the garden chores were completed and right before leaving, the broccoli plants were drenched in Javelin/Bt worm killer.

If you follow this blog, then you probably already know that the first thing we do each week (before planting anything) is check in on our plants that we already have in our beds. Here are pictures of the gardeners and volunteers of Section 6 (the section we’re highlighting this week) checking in on their progress.

What are some things they’re looking for?

Like I mentioned before, the cole crops are being checked for yellowed leaves, leaves with holes, small yellow eggs or even (gasp!) live caterpillars (AH!). If any of these are evident on your cole crops, take a look above at the steps our gardener took to treat this. Are the root balls of the tomatoes showing? If so, add more soil to cover them back up. Check the tomato cages while you’re at it – the cages should be firmly secured and should not be shakey. Another chore the gardeners did was add more compost to the area between the potato rows. Here’s a look at the progression of one of our gardener’s potatoes (take notice of the compost hill):

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Week 5: This week we planted some pretty ‘Mixed Carpet’ petunias at the ends of our beds. It’s importing to be very careful when handling transplants – make sure to be especially gentle when moving the plants out of their containers and into the holes – any damage to their root system could harm the plant.

Pro Tip: When planting, be sure to plant these guys a little above the soil line – they’ll settle in pretty quickly. You definitely want to  leave them in their peat pots, BUT we don’t want the tops of the peat pots to show. Take a look at a bed in Section 6 during and after planting their petunias:

Did you know… Some weeks we have a Junior Master Gardener group activity. Last week’s activity was learning about the importance of effective communication – not just communication in the garden, but also everyday types of communication. Check out some of our gardeners listening intently…although some *may* have taken a minute to relax – gardening is hard work!:

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That’s all for now, friends! Make sure to check back next week to get updates about our current beds, and see how we did while planting squash and beans – FUN!

Psssst! Real fast, take a look at some visitors we had at the garden last Saturday.

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