Children’s Vegetable Garden Program Week 6: October 13, 2018

What a wonderful morning for gardening, overcast sky with a hint of drizzle urged us to get busy checking our plants  and start our gardening tasks.

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How are your plants looking?

Fall Marigolds

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Make sure to carefully add any extra soil around this planting area if needed.  If your plant looks wilted or sickly looking, then it most likely didn’t get firmed in real well and its peat pot has been expose.

‘Dwarf Cherry Surprise’ BHN 968 and ‘Ruby Crush’ Tomatoes

Does your plant need some help straightening up?

Without breaking any branches carefully “tuck” your plants back inside their cages and pinch or cut off any leaves touching the soil.

 

 

‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumber

Are there any cucumbers ready to be harvested today?

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Oh my these are ready for our salad tonight!

Lady Bugs help find aphids on our plants. Lacewing eggs up on stilts help to eat plant destroying insects as well.

 

Green Magic’ broccoli, ‘Snow Crown’ cauliflower and Head Cabbage Plants

Check the backside of ALL your leaves and destroy any caterpillars and their eggs.
Pinch off any damage or yellow looking leaves off your plants.

Here’s a Cabbage Looper trying to sneak away and an Army Worm Victim. Caught that varmit army worm!

“Leave my garden alone your rascal worm!”

 

Bush Beans

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Carrots, are your plants up yet? If a lot of other plots have come up already, then ask why?

 

Today’s Plantings

Leaf lettuce

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Today we are planting three rows of lettuce with 15 seeds per row (45 seeds total).

‘All Star Gourmet’ Lettuce mix will be direct seeded in mini-plot #2 in the empty area opposite the bean planting.

Before seeds are planted in this planting area, the soil should be worked up with a three tine long-handled claw. When doing this remove any rocks or coarse debris. Also, work in one cup of organic fertilizer as well. The area should be very fluffy, nice and leveled when finished. Hand water the area well before planting.

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Proceed 8” away from the inside center of the board into your plot. This is where your first role of leaf lettuce seeds will be planted. So, mark this area with some identification bamboo stakes.

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The other two rows should be spaced 8” apart from one another and planted the same as the first row.

Each seed should be planted 2-3” apart in each row and evenly spaced from one row to the next.

 

Seeds should be sown in a little furrow and barely tamped in with your finger as for the seed to touch the soil, but not planted into the soil.

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DO NOT water this area after the seeds are planted.

DO NOT forget your plant tag and its proper placing in your plot.

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Radishes

Today we are planting ‘Rover’ Red Round Radish will be direct seeded in mini-plot #4 in the empty area opposite the squash planting.

Before seeds are planted in this planting area, the soil should be worked up with a three tine long-handled claw. When doing this remove any rocks or coarse debris. Also, work in one cup of organic fertilizer as well.

IMG_0574.JPGThe area should be very fluffy, nice and leveled when finished. Hand water the area well before planting.

Each seed should be planted 2-3″apart. IMG_0718.JPGSeeds should be lightly tamped in just below the soil surface.

DO NOT water this area after the seeds are planted.

DO NOT forget your plant tag and its proper placing in your plot.

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Make sure your plants are properly fertilized

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Our first Junior Master Gardener Sunday House Lesson.

Thank you Master Gardner, Mr. Paul Bauml for the lesson about the importance of trees and thank you to Bartlett Tree Experts for donating a tree to each family.

 

Did you notice the Mystic Spires Blue Salvia?

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The Mystic Blue Spires is designated a Texas Superstar. To be a Texas superstar a plant must not only be beautiful but also perform well for consumers and growers throughout the state. Texas Superstars must be easy to propagate, which should ensure the plants are not only widely available throughout Texas but also reasonably priced.

Planting can be done in spring and summer from containers. While Mystic Spires adapts well to most soils, it needs good drainage. If needed, plants can be pruned during the growing season as reflowering occurs quickly. Shoots can be pruned to 12 inches or so in the fall after being killed by freeze, but refrain from pruning to the ground until growth is strong in the spring.

Look what else we found in the garden.

On the Mystic Blue Salvia we found a caterpillar that will become a                                  Gulf Fritilary Butterfly.

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A Wolf Spider.  SA Garden Style Magazine says that you will find more large spiders in your garden because of the abundant rains we have had.

Before you leave

Does everything look neat and clean (no weeds, trash, rocks)

Are all your plants watered?  Are all your tools cleaned? Placed neatly in the tool shed. Same type of tool with the same type of tool!

 

Ready for next week?

We will be constructing our scarecrows. 30-best-clip-artmy-style-scarecrows-images-on-pinterest-with-cute-scarecrow-clipart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Children’s Vegetable Garden Week 5: October 6, 2018

Hi Friends!

We finally got a sunny Saturday to work, and lemme tell you, we worked. Our young gardeners and volunteers were out early and stayed late to catch up with this season’s plantings. We also harvested CUCUMBERS! Super cool.

One thing that some of our plots are struggling with right now are insect pests. The rain prevented our volunteers from being able to properly treat our plants for bugs. Check it out:

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This is a picture of the cucumber plant, and it’s in pretty bad shape. I can see mealybugs for sure, and a bunch of other creepy crawlers. I’m itchy just looking at it. Thankfully one of the projects the volunteers took care of was treating all the plants for detrimental insects with liquid spinosad. THANK YOU!! Fingers crossed that they’re looking better this weekend.

As always, the first thing we do is always check our plots for weeds and look at the green and growing plants. How do they look? Are the squash sprouting? Are there any cabbage loopers on the broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower? (Some have already been spotted in the garden) Did the beans sprout?

^^Bean sprouts and baby cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli^^

Next we measured out and planted our ‘Cruiser’ Cilantro and ‘Yaya’ Carrots. During soil prep for the seeds, we added one cup of granular fertilizer to each space we planed in. Next we measured out 8″ from the center board. This is where we marked our first row. From there we measured two more rows – all 8″ apart. We first planted our cilantro seeds – each seed 2-3″ apart.

For the carrots we did the exact same thing – 8″ from the center board, all 3 rows 8″ apart, a seed planted every 2-3″. You’ll notice our carrot seeds are pelleted. This is because without it we’d definitely lose a bunch of teeny tiny carrot seeds. We’d probably end up with carrots growing all over the Botanical Garden.

Here are our fertilizing instructions for Week 5:

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That’s all we’ve got for this week. Let’s hope for good weather next Saturday!

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Children’s Vegetable Garden Week 4: September 29, 2018

Hi Friends!

 

We were barely making progress on our beds this week when the RAIN came back. Fortunately we got in about an hour and a half of solid gardening before Mother Nature gave everything a good drink.

The first thing we did was check in on our green and growing plants. As you can see above, some of our cucumbers are looking fantastic. We then weeded and lightly hand tilled our beds in preparation for the day’s plantings – ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli, ‘Snow Crown’ Cauliflower, and for those who braved the downpour, ‘Provider’ bush beans.

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When planting the cauliflower and broccoli, measuring appropriately is your best bet to make sure that you have enough room to grow your plants to their full potential. Each broccoli should be planted 24″ (2 feet) away from the already transplanted cabbage, and then another 12″ inches (1 foot) away from the sides of the raised bed.

From there we planted the cauliflower using the same measurements – 24″ away from the newly planted broccoli and 12″ away from the sides of the garden bed.

Some gardeners were able to plant the bush bean seeds, and others will do that during Week 5. Those who planted the seeds measured 6″ away from the center board of our plots (as seen below), and then each row (approx 4 rows) is measured 6″ away from the previous row. There was about 60 seeds, so each row has 15 seeds – each planted 2 to 3 inches apart.

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That’s as far as we got before the rain started…

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…so we called it a day around 10:30!

Reminder – Compost campaign: Children, and volunteers are encouraged to bring coffee grounds, disposable coffee filters, tea bags, egg shells, vegetable scraps and other appropriate compostable materials from their homes or from their local coffee shop. These materials will be added to the backside of our compost pile until further notice.

Thanks so much and remember check in next week!

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 3, September 22, 2018

The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds.  If  you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.

Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

Although week 2 of the CVGP was cancelled due to weather (RAIN ☔️) there was still botanical magic happening both at the children’s garden (many many thanks to John and the work party for planting the ‘Ruby Crush’ tomatoes Wednesday, September 19th) and elsewhere as evidenced by this very special phenomenon known as a Fairy Ring:

Fairy RingThis naturally occurring arc of mushrooms (known as a fairy ring) was spotted under a tree at Woodlawn Lake.

Fairy rings are a source of much myth and superstition regarding fairies, pixies and elves and appear in many folk stories, particularly in Western Europe.  Scientifically, the rings start when the mycelium (spawn) of a mushroom falls in a suitable spot and sends out an underground network of fine, tubular threads called hyphae.  They can thrive in either deep green grass or a necrotic zone (an area in which other plant life has died).

 

Unfortunately week 3 was the victim of further foul weather which forced another cancellation.

radar 9_22_18Radar kindly provided by the My Radar app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myradar-weather-radar/id322439990?mt=8

Never to be daunted – another group of valiant volunteers returned on Thursday September 27th to follow through with the plantings scheduled for the 22nd.

work party 9_27-18The abundance of volunteers made quick work of planting the south side of the garden.

‘Taishan’ Orange Mari-mums https://aglifesciences.tamu.edu/blog/2013/08/30/mari-mums-chrysanthemum-color-lasting-two-or-three-times-longer/

‘Cheers’ Cabbage https://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/homehort/archives-of-weekly-articles-davids-plant-of-the-week/cheers-cabbage/

AND

‘Multipik’ Yellow Squash seeds www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/squash/summer-squash/multipik-f1-squash-seed-2968.html

were all planted according to the instructions in Agenda 3.  Planting of Bush Beans was delayed for the next regular session of the Children’s Vegetable Garden Program.

At the end of the work party the plots were left under the watchful eyes of two scarecrows at the North End.

scarecrowsMaster Gardener badges duly noted!

 

Happy Gardening!

Anne Marie S.

 

 

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program i(CVGP) Week 2, September 15, 2018

Our garden classes were cancelled due to the fact that we have been blessed with an over abundance of RAIN!

On Saturday the ground was too wet to plant our “Ruby Crush”Tomato, Fall Marigolds, Yellow Squash and Bush Beans.

Many thanks go out to our friends of the Bexar County Master Gardeners for hosting a work party to plant the “Ruby Crush” Tomatoes so that we stay in the race to harvest before ol’ Jack Frost comes to town.

We plan to be in the Garden on Saturday, September 22. Continue reading

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 1, September 8th, 2018

Anyone who has time for drama is not gardening enough.

                                                                           -anonymous

Despite the rain the first session of the Fall 2018 Children’s Vegetable Garden took off without a hitch! The eagerness and enthusiasm were contagious in both the volunteers and families.  I was especially happy to return as a volunteer after spending the last few gardening seasons bringing my own garden up to snuff.

ams gardenMy cat Opie was pleased to reclaim his spot under the artichoke.

As usual the inaugural day began with a review of the agenda (and necessary modifications to accommodate the mud after the abundant rain).  The volunteers were dispatched to their sections just as the children started to pour through the gate.  Tools, fertilizer, water and plant material were all in place.

09_09_2018_pic1Tools at the ready in Section 1.

The plant material had been delivered prior to the start of the session.  David Rodriguez our County Extension Agent selected beautiful “Dwarf Cherry Suprise’ BHN968 tomato plants.  Pre-planting chores included weeding (purslane and pigweed were abundant in the paths after the rain) and fertilizing with 8 cups of Milbergers Organic Fertilizer throughout the each plot.  Soil from the hole was mixed with an additional 2 cups of fertilizer prior to planting the tomato.

BHN dwarf cherry tomato plantBefore the fall session started our dedicated work party crew had fortified the beds by dividing them into smaller plots that measure 6’10”.

After planting, the tomato was reinforced with a burm and watered in with one quarter of a gallon Hasta-Gro liquid soluble starter mix.

tomato burmSpecial attention is needed to avoid wetting the tomato leaves with fertilizer.

The second plant was a sturdy ‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumber.  Soil for this planting was mixed with one cup fertilizer.  After planting, the cucumber was also watered in with liquid fertilizer.

sweet slice with karenMaster Gardener Karen Gardner explains the finer points of directing a cucumber to the trellis.

After scrubbing up the tools and returning them to the shed the gardeners spent time chronicling the day in their journals.

journals with layla quirozJournals were generously donated by Master Gardener Layla Quiroz.

Although it was a relatively short day everyone left happy and hopeful for a new productive season in the garden.  Later in the session we have this bounty to look forward to taking home from our BHN968 tomatoes:

New-Dwarf-Cherry-Surprise-Tomato (1)Photo courtesy of AgriLife TODAY

One easy way to preserve an excess of tomatoes is to place cut halves on a cookie sheet/sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and pepper/bake them in a 200 degree oven until they look gelatinous and finally freeze them with just enough additional olive oil to cover the surface.  In this manner they can be stored for several months and are excellent on pasta or pizza.

Happy Gardening!

   Anne Marie S.

Junior Master Gardener Adult Leader Training

 

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Dates: July 25-27, 2018
Location: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio, TX 78230
Times: July 25th:12pm-5pm, July 26th: 9am-5pm, July 27th: 9am-12pm

Come join us for the 2018 Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Adult Leader Training
designed for teachers, educators, and volunteers in support of Youth Gardening.
Educators will learn about “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences
that will provide an appreciation for the environment and cultivate the minds of
children.

Participants will:

  • Learn how to establish and sustain a youth
    garden.
  • Learn how to create a JMG program.
  • Receive training in the JMG curriculum.
  • Obtain Continuing Professional Education
    Hours for the three-day training

Registration fee of $100 must be included with application and is non-refundable.
This registration fee is kept at this low price with the generous grant provided by San
Antonio Livestock Exposition

Deadline to apply is July 20th

Click here to apply!