Children’s Vegetable Garden Week 8: October 27, 2018

Welcome to a Beautiful Sunny Day in our Garden

Fall Marigolds

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□ If your plants need it, hand water your plants really good before you leave today.

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

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□ If the soil is not to wet to work this morning, carefully use a three tine cultivating claw to loosen the soil around the plants (Start from the outer leaves as not to damage the plants roots).

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Check the backside of ALL your leaves and destroy any caterpillars/moths and their eggs; we have noticed some plots have a lot of damage to their cabbage plants.

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Carefully remove no more than 20% of the plants leaves that are really bad looking and damage.

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These can go into the compost pile too.

Remember that these Organic pesticides only take care of small and not large caterpillars, so this step is very important. Drench your plants at the end of the day with a proper dilution of liquid Bt or Javeline with a couple of drops of Ivory detergent.

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Use any remaining product on your bean and tomato plants. 

 

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

□ Are any tomatoes ready to be harvested today?

Remember to harvest them when they start showing any pink blushing as not to feed the mockingbirds.

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It’s probably too late to tuck most of your branches back into their cages as not to break or damage them.

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So, cut some small streamers from your plastic shopping bags and use them to tie the plants to the cage.  Check your plants really good for any caterpillars or other bad insects.

‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumber

□ Due to the unpredicted weather pattern, it’s best to under plant pea seeds (4×2) barely below the soil surface.

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Make sure your plants are not shading any of their neighbors. So, possibly cut some small streamers from your plastic shopping bags and use them to tie their trellises.

 

Check your plants several times throughout the day and destroy all cucumber beetles by tipping them out of the flower buds into your hand and smash them.

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Harvest all cucumbers that are ready today.

For the plots that seeded snow peas, they should all be up by today as today is the last day to reseed.

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Yellow Squash

□ Seek and destroy any cucumber beetles or caterpillars that might be on your plants.

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Drench your plants at the end of the day with a proper dilution of liquid Bt or Javeline with a couple of drops of Ivory detergent. Use any remaining product on your bean and tomato plants.

Bush Bean

□ Remove any insects or brown leaves off your plants.

Are any beans ready to be harvested today?

Are your beans ready to be tied up?

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Cilantro, Carrot, Leaf lettuce and Radishes

□ All your plants should be up by today. If not, ask why? Look at the other plots and Sections.

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Today is the last day to spot seed what is needed in your plot.

 

Today’s Junior Master Gardener Lesson was conducted by Bee Keeper James Bills on the

“The Importance of Honey Bees”.

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Remember our Compost Pile

Please don’t forget to feed our important lonesome Compost Pile!  Bring your used coffee grinds, used tea bag as well as green scraps from your kitchen.

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Thanks so much see you next Saturday

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden Week 7: October 20, 2018

Hi Friends!

Last weekend at the garden was SO FUN. The weather was nice, the wind was blowing gently, and we were able to put together our scarecrows! Big Thanks to Art Vasquez for showing our gardeners how to make the scarecrows, and to Ruby Zavala for offering the art supplies for adding that extra special touch. One group even chose a Nutcracker theme for their plots – check it out!

We didn’t plant anything new last weekend, but one of the big projects we had (aside from the scarecrows) was to look for bugs..and boy did we find them. Fortunately, we found both detrimental and beneficial bugs, so it’s not all bad news. Check out some of the beneficial insect friends we found:

A honeybee, ladybug larva,  a ladybug AND an earthworm!

Now for the BAD bugs:

A tomato hornworm, an armyworm and evidence of cabbage loopers.

These guys have the capacity to totally destroy your gardens. Click on the links below to learn more about these caterpillars –

Hornworm: https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/tomato-hornworm/

Armyworm: https://cdn-ext.agnet.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/armyworm-pest-hay-pasture.pdf

Cabbage Loopers: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/problem-solvers/cucurbit-problem-solver/cucurbit-insects/cabbage-looper/

We did add a cup of granulated fertilizer to our cole crops – our broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. We also made sure to inspect our plots to confirm that all our seeds are sprouting. Check out these happy plants:

The last thing I should mention is that many of our tomato plants were too big to safely tuck the branches back into their cages, so we used garden tape and tied them to the tomato cages:

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That’s all we’ve got for now, friends. Be sure to check back in next week to see all the fun we had at the garden!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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