Welcome back from Spring Break ya’ll. The garden is really starting to come into itself with this new warmer weather! For Week 6 we planted Bush Beans and Yellow Squash.
Did you know that beans and squash are part of a traditional farming practice called the Three Sisters? The third veggie in the triad is corn. These three plants have often been grown together because they are mutually beneficial. Beans provide corn with nitrogen (which helps the soil) while the corn provides a trellis for the beans to grow and squash helps to prevent weeds from growing around the other two plants. Our garden volunteers have carefully planned the spacing and organization of all the veggies and plants in the garden so that they help each other grow!
Click here to learn more about how legumes like beans provide nitrogen for the soil and why that is so beneficial!
Special thanks to Mary Fernandez and John Mayer (pictured above), our garden leaders, for answering any questions and keeping the garden up and running smoothly! We could not do it without you two. Above right, Master Gardener Nancy Brown goes over the agenda, discussing composting for the potatoes and fertilizer upkeep for the veggies that are already in the ground.
Far above, a new youth gardener is careful to lift the leaves of the potatoes as she spreads compost about 2 inches high along the base of both rows of potatoes.
A member of the current Master Gardener class, Ernest Rubio, shovels compost so that other helpers can sift out unwanted debris like rocks. Above right is an example of some of the veggie and eggshell donations volunteers have brought to contribute to the compost pile here at SABOT.
SPECIAL THANKS to Blue Star Brewery for their kind donation of spent grain to our compost pile! We need a diversity of compost materials and they have helped so much!
Volunteers measured out 1 and 1/4 cups of Organic Lady Bug Fertilizer. We then spread 1 cup total around the base of our cabbage and cauliflower, making sure to stay at least 6 inches away from the base of the plants. There might be delicate root systems that we do not want to damage. We sprinkled the last 1/4 cup around the base of the ‘Tycoon’ Tomato.
On to the Bush Beans! We planted 3 rows with 15 seeds each for a total of 45 Bush Bean seeds. We went to the middle of the plot and measured 10 inches away from the middle divider and then marked the spot with a bamboo stick. We then measured 10 inches to the 2nd bamboo stick and then 10 more inches to the third bamboo stick. In each row, we planted a seed every 2 inches. For 15 seeds in that row, that means we measured a total of 30 inches. We repeated the same thing on the last 2 rows.
We made sure not to plant the seeds too deep, since their sprouting root systems are so delicate. We gently pushed them into the ground and covered each one.
Then we moved on to the Yellow Squash. We planted a total of 3 seeds. To the right of the ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapeño plant we measured out to place 3 bamboo sticks. We measured 20 inches from the middle of the jalapeño plant toward the cucumber trellis and then 4 inches from the front of the plot. To place the second stick, we measured 14 inches from the first stick toward the end of the plot. For the third stick, we formed a triangle, measuring 14 inches from the first and second stick and meeting in the middle.
Similarly to the bean seeds, we need to plant the squash seeds in a shallow position in the soil to ensure that their delicate roots can project through the soil. After watering both the Bush Beans and the Yellow Squash, we walked through to make sure none had floated through the thin layer of soil.
We then used each one of these small bottles of Lady Bug Natural Organic Fertilizer. We used 1/4 oz of Lady Bug Natural Organic Fertilizer with 1/4 gallon of water and applied to the ‘Carpet’ Petunias, ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapeño, the ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli, the ‘Snow Crown’ Cauliflower and the ‘Cheers’ Head Cabbage in each bed.
Special thanks to Milberger’s Landscape and Nursery for helping to fund each plot so families can have a more affordable experience here in the garden!