Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP): Week 9 (April 16th, 2016)

 

Yes, it was drizzly and damp, but our garden was full of happy gardeners, rain boots, streamers, and a very special treat. One at a time….

Here’s a picture of the streamers we talked about last week; very cheerful for Fiesta and afterwards:

 

(The tomatoes are getting tall, aren’t they…those are 6′ tomato cages.) The garden was busy, with all of us trying to finish chores before any rain might start. Regardless of the weather, the garden is always a place of friendly gardeners having fun.

cvg16w10.busy

We got drizzled on a little bit, but not much. We checked our gardens for bugs:

cvg16w10.bug.check

In our section, we found a cutworm, cucumber beetles, and an anthill. Here’s a pic of the cutworm caterpillar (which will turn into a moth) and a cucumber beetle, both of which are no longer in residence at the garden:

We also removed faded flowers from the portulaca to encourage blooming and keep the plants neat.  On the rest of the plants, we removed any plant leaves that were yellowed, in contact with the soil, or shading nearby plants too much.

The potato plants were starting to flop into the walkways, and risked getting stepped on on broken, so we set 4 small bamboo stakes in the 4 corners of the potato area, and ran string around it, looping it around each stake and tying it at the first and last stake.

cvg16w10.potatoes.twined

We are also trying to keep the tomato plant stems inside their cages. If any of the stems were a bit too large already to tuck back in without breaking, we tied to the cages with strips cut from plastic bags. This is a great way to recycle plastic bags! We cut our strips about an inch wide, and left a little space between the stem and the support cage.  This will help prevent breakage from wind or from the weight of future fruit.

cvg16w10.tomato.tied

As always, read our Spring 2016 AGENDA 9 for info on everything we did today.

And the treat….the Junior Master Gardener activity today was a talk by about ladybugs, followed by a ladybug release!

 

cvg16w10.ladybug.fake

OK, not that ladybug. (It is at the garden, though–one of the sections is using these as decorations in their beds. The decorations serve a practical purpose too, by the way…it lets the volunteers tell, at a quick glance, what garden beds are in their section.)

 

The real ladybugs, in their packaging:

cvg16w10.ladybyg.release1

Being released:

cvg16w10.ladybug.release2

On the plants:

cvg16w10.ladybugs2

The ladybugs, will provide good organic control of aphids and other bugs.   While there is nothing keeping them from leaving, we did release a LOT of them and enough will stay in the area as long as there are bugs for them to eat.

Let’s have a look at how some of our plants are producing… tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, broccoli, and tiny cucumbers:

Remember that mystery bed I showed you a few blogs back? A lot happens in a few weeks…  here’s another picture… any guesses?

cvg16w10.mystery.corn

 

No, we are NOT growing Johnson grass!  How about a closer look?

cvg16w10.mystery.closeup

Yes! Corn! I’ll post pictures occasionally so you can see its progress. I’ve never grown it (too many squirrels) so I am interested to see how it does.

The garden at the end of the day:

cvg16w10.EndOfDay

See you next week,

Lyn

Lyn Komada, Bexar County Master Gardeners

BONUS PICTURE!

 

cvg16w10.cardinal.bonus.pic

I saw this male cardinal in the CVG when I was checking the beds before the gardeners arrived….a cheerful spot of red on a grey day.  If you like birds, the next time you are at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, be sure and stop by their birdwatching area.

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