Children’s Vegetable Garden Program– April 18 (Week 9)

Have you gotten tired of me starting out with weeding and bug control yet?  No?  Good for you, because maintenance is very important to a successful garden. 🙂  Once we had done that, we once again hilled up the potatoes (see my previous post).  As you can see from the pictures below, the potato plants are doing great!  They are overflowing their beds into the walkways, and starting to eye the area where the cucumber vine is (to the left, where the trellis is, in the first picture below).  To prevent a cucumber-potato war, we used some short bamboo stakes to restrain the exuberant potato plants.  We intentionally hid these stakes within the leaf canopy so they are not visible.

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While I’m on the topic of potatoes, did you know that red potatoes have pink flowers, and white potatoes have white flowers? Here’s some pictures: a flower on our Irish Potato ‘Red La Soda’ on the left, and ‘White Kennebec’ on the right:

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One of our gardeners found a red and black bug among his potatoes and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of bug it was, so I took a picture and emailed it to Molly Keck, entomologist, and our Extension Program Specialist for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Bexar County and all-around bug expert.  She identified it as a mirid. That’s not a good one. Squish it if you see it.

 

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Both varieties of tomatoes are doing well. Here’s a look at one of the BHN 968 plants. I am 5’4” and this tomato plant is taller than I am.

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The onions are also doing well.  Our gardeners harvested a few, and we removed any buds that were forming at the top of the onions. (See middle pic below.)  Onions bolt for a variety of reasons—drought stress (hmmm, unlikely, given our weather lately), a cold snap (sends it into propagation mode), basically, environmental stress.  Most of them are not bolting, so we are not worried about a bud here and there.

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Our author’s choice 🙂 bonus picture(s) this week is garden sage, left to flower, and filling a raised bed at the CVG. Have you considered growing extra herbs just to let them flower?  Sage has beautiful flowers, and attracts bees.  (The bees were pretty docile; I was taking all sorts of picture of them, and not one of them asked me what I was doing or showed any signs of being disturbed.)  Generally speaking, some people feel herbs don’t taste as good once they are allowed to flower, and some leaves may become bitter. See what you think. Or grow extra!

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Before our day was over we fertilized our tomatoes and flowers, and we also drenched the cabbage/broccoli/kale with liquid Bt diluted to 2 oz per gallon of water, to help control the cabbage loopers.

A final look at our flourishing garden:  the onions, ‘Diva’ cucumber, potatoes in the first picture (and a bit of the lobularia showing to the left of the irrigation), and the ‘Tycoon’ tomato, ‘Provider’ bush beans, squash, licorice mint & petunias, BHN 968 tomato, and cabbage/broccoli/kale in the second picture. (The squash are still small this week, with only a few true leaves still; we’ll take a closer look at them in my next post.)

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