Children’s Vegetable Garden (CVG): Week 12 (Nov 7, 2015)

I don’t need to tell you that a front had come through on Saturday. Wow it was very windy! And grey!

w12greyDay

But our intrepid gardeners showed up and harvested again. Keeping up with your garden is one of the things that makes our gardeners successful—kudos, gardeners!

w12gardeners1

Especially because it was a grey day so it was nice to see pops of colors from the flowers. The marigolds and the zinnias still look bright and a few green beans are still blooming. I spend a lot of time talking about our great veggies, but let’s visit with our flowers for a moment. Flowers mixed into a vegetable garden not only look pretty, but they attract pollinators like bees into the garden.

w12pinkZinnias  w12marigolds

w12zinnias  w12zinnaMaintenance

I hope that you are deadheading flowers in your yard when they no longer look nice. Deadheading is not just about keeping the plants looking attractive. It also directs energy that most plants would be spending on the next phase (seed production) to producing more flowers instead, which is what we want. You might also want to cut a few flowers in their prime too….the gardener tending his zinnias in the picture above told us that his family likes to float a few blossoms in a bowl of water. Great idea! 🙂

Speaking of deadheading, we continue to put the spent blossoms and other green yard waste on our compost pile. Here’s a pic of the compost pile and a volunteer and his helper mixing some of the deadheaded flowers into the pile.

w12compost1

The tomatoes are still producing well. See the curled leaves of the plant in the picture (below) at the left? That is in a section of the garden that is subject to more crosswinds, and the tomatoes there had more curled leaves as it was cooler. That is a good example of an area –a microclimate— which has a different climate from the rest of the area. Your yard can have microclimates too, and it is important to consider this when you think about planting. For a nice short article on microclimates, read this article from the Cornell University.

w12coldTomatoes w12cherryTomatoes

In addition to the tomatoes, this week we mainly picked radishes, bunching onions, a few greenbeans (most have already been picked), and the outermost leaves of our lettuce, leaving the plants to continue to produce.

w12bunchingOnions

When picking their bunching onions, our gardeners continued to carefully separate them and replant one back so it can start multiplying again.

Even though our harvest will be starting to slow down the garden is still producing and it is important to keep our plants as healthy possible so we will have the best yields we can. Remember to do those same things which we have been doing all season: keep an eye out for bugs, and keep the beds and plants clear of dead and dying leaves. Some insect pictures:

w12cucumberBeetle w12coldBee

On the left we have a cucumber beetle—we had them all over the place–squish these if you see them. On the right, a good insect, a bee. This bee was inside a cucumber flower, not moving very much, when we noticed it early in the cool morning. As it warmed up, the bee did too, and eventually left.

Here’s a picture of one of the huge barbeque rosemary plant in the CVG. It’s called that because the stems are very straight and strong, just right for skewers. If you have a spot for a hedge, consider a rosemary hedge! This variety grows about 4-6’ tall, but there are rosemary varieties that are shorter.

w12barbecueRosemary

A final picture of the garden as we finish our day:

w12beds1

The bonus picture this time is of a head of cabbage. This coming Saturday is the gardener’s picnic and vegetable contest, and I expect we will have some lovely heads of cabbage and other vegetables shown at it.

w12cabbage

Lyn

Lyn Komada, Bexar County Master Gardeners

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