Children’s Vegetable Garden: Week 11, November 17, 2018

Hi Friends!

Well, we ended up having a SERIOUS FREEZE this past week. I don’t think anyone expected this past week’s freeze to be as bad as it was, but here we are. SO, unfortunate as it is, our plots all took a huge hit. Take a look:

All in all, we all lost our squash, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and many if not all of the marigolds.

We ended up removing all the dead plants from our plots. We cut the tomatoes right at the soil line and to let the stem & roots dry out before we pull them. As we removed the tomato plants, many people had to clean up an even bigger mess as the post-freeze cherry tomatoes fell from the vine.

There is some good news though – many of the plants survived!

Our cold loving cole crops (cabbage, cauliflower & broccoli), carrots, radishes, cilantro and lettuce all survived the freeze. WHEW!

Many of us were even able to harvest some really pretty radishes:

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The weather was even warm enough for some of our volunteers to plant some really healthy looking spinach, which almost makes up for the losses we took. (KIDDING! … but not really)

Finally, one of my personal favorite JMG presentations, we had the pleasure of hearing from a family of young 4-H members who raise turkeys! Hearing them explain the food, water, shelter, temperature and time commitment needs that are all required in raising healthy turkeys was really interesting. PLUS THEY BROUGHT BABY TURKEYS, which is basically a slow pitch down the middle for our young gardeners.

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That’s all for this week, friends. Be sure to check back in next week to see how our post freeze garden is faring!

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Children’s Vegetable Garden Program: Week 10, November 10, 2018

Hi Friends!

This weekend was COLD COLD COLD. But our plants were still super happy! Check out our marigolds, which are always so beautiful this time of year. Although it’s really hard to do, the best thing you can do for your marigolds is to dead head them (pinch off the blooms) each week to encourage blooming and new growth all season long. I am acknowledging how hard this is for me to, but it truly makes a big difference.

This week’s agenda did not include any new planting, unless you needed to reseed any of your cilantro, carrots, leaf lettuce or radishes. Ours were looking good (although the carrots had not come up yet!):

One of the big chores we needed to do today was to check for bugs, both bad and good ones. Of course, we came up with a bunch of both!

First, take a look at our beautiful pollinator butterflies! The fall monarch migration did not disappoint this year and they were out in force at SABOT. The little green butterfly we found incognito our peas looks like a Sulpher, but also could be a Southern Dogface – I certainly can’t tell. Any ideas?

Check out some of the other bugs we found:

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We found some cucumber bugs, some grasshoppers and possibly a wooly bear caterpillar (?) – I’m not sure on the identification of that caterpillar but would welcome suggestions!! Finally, we’ve got some type of cocoon nesting in our pea leaves!
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Take a look at some other bad bugs to look out for:

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Before we left, after we made sure to check out all our cole crops for loopers, we fertilized with one cup of granulated fertilizer spread out around all 6 plants (2 cabbage, 2 broccoli and 2 cauliflower). Finally, we completed the following:

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That’s all we’ve got for now friends, and before you go, take a look at our harvest this week!! Make sure to check back in next week to see our garden’s progress!

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 9, November 3, 2018

It does not matter if you are a rose or a lotus or a marigold.  What matters most is that you are flowering. 

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After all the heavy rains it was a fabulous fall day at the SABOT Children’s Garden! Taishan Orange Mari-mums planted in week three were in full bloom to greet the gardeners as the day commenced.  Careful deadheading insured the blooms will continue over the remainder of the session.IMG_0679

Fiskars scissors do the trick!

The kids were eager to remedy any damage caused by too much moisture or invasive insects.  Most notably, the tomato plants had suffered a minor invasion of pinworms:

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Tomato pinworm (aka Keiferia lycopersicella) https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/tomato-pinworm/

Junior Garden Volunteers Josh and Alexie took a break from compost shoveling for a quick photo op:

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The “AllStar Gourmet” Lettuce mix planted in Session 6 was popping up in rows of purple and green in every plot.lettuce 11-3 Lettuce spray……

Cruiser cilantro only required minor cultivating…….

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Follow the blog post for Cruiser Cilantro for a quick and delicious salsa recipe!

Happy Gardening and Cooking!

Anne Marie S

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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