Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP): Week 16 (June 4, 2016)

Week 16 was the final week of another successful spring Children’s Vegetable Garden season, just in time with the warmer temperatures arriving. It was a busy last day. Those of you with home vegetable gardens will still be harvesting for a few weeks, but we needed to remove the plants and clear the plots so they will be ready for the fall session. It was tough to remove a gorgeous Tycoon tomato plant or a banana pepper still producing, but everything was harvested before the plants were removed:

There was still a lot to harvest. Those of you with home gardens are still letting your plants produce, but we had to clear everything out since our program was ending. So our gardeners were busy harvesting and then removing the plants….

It was a true community garden effort, wheelbarrows going back and forth as we added the plant material to the compost pile.

The wheelbarrows got a LOT Of use today.

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The harvest was mainly tomatoes, peppers, japanese eggplant, and some very large cucumbers…

Last week I suggested googling recipes for cherry tomatoes.  This week it’s recipes for green tomatoes we need to google, and there are a lot of recipes to choose from.  They will not go to waste!

This family had an easy way to get their harvest to the car:

s16w16.harvesters1a

Let’s have a peek inside their garden trolly:

Some of the gardeners opted to take their Alternanthera home with them, and from the lovely color, I can see why. The magenta color is on the underside of the leaves, the purple and green are the tops. This is a bit wilted from being dug up but should perk up once it is replanted.

s16w16.harvest8

We also started adding mulch to some of the common areas of the garden…mentors, gardeners, family, *and* some volunteers from UTSA all worked together on this effort.

s16w16.groupEffort

All of our gardeners were asked to keep a garden journal of what they did. This gardener did a GREAT job with her journal, starting with a custom cover:

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She included including drawings and even the plot layout.

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Her mom printed out the agendas in reduced format to fit the sleeves of the small binder, and the gardener added her notes each session. (Remember you can click on any image to see it larger.)

At the end of the garden, beyond the fence but still in the Botanical Garden, is a HUGE fig tree. If you like figs and have room for one in your yard, they are very easy to grow and produce like crazy. Look at all the figs growing on this small section of the tree, some o them blending in with the leaves:

s16w16.fig

If you want to grow one in a home setting I’d suggest perhaps not letting it get two stories high…it’s hard to harvest that way. There used to be one in my yard that previous owners had pruned so it was about 8’ high but about 10’ wide, so you could walk in among the branches and harvest. The taller branches could be pulled down to harvest, or a small stepstool used. One thing about figs though, is that you’ve got to stay on top of the harvest. If some of the figs end up on the ground for a bit ferment, you’ll have drunken grackles wobbling around your yard. (I speak from experience….)

So, what’s next? Signup for the next season – the Fall Children’s Vegetable Garden – has started and you can get info on that on this page at Botanical Gardens website. It reviews the program and at the bottom there is a link (the very last line) to click on to register. If you are planning a fall vegetable garden in your own backyard, you can get a list of recommended varieties for our area and when to plant them by clicking here.

In fact, you might want to look at ALL the lists on this page from our local Bexar County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension website and see other recommended plants for our area.

End of Day pictures… There are still plants in the test/common beds. Isn’t the color of this coleus gorgeous (first pic)? And the sage has been let to bloom all spring and lovely. I think I will get one from my local nursery to add to my flower garden.

The gardener’s beds are ready for the Fall CVGP…come join us!

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Regards,

Lyn

Lyn Komada,  Bexar County Master Gardeners

BONUS PICTURE:

If you’re very observant, there’s all sorts of things to see at the Botanical Gardens. Right beyond the back fence of the CVGP (next to the huge fig tree) there is a tree with tiny peaches on it, and a hungry squirrel. Then, up on the hill overlooking the CVGP, there is a bench to sit on, occupied for a bit by a…turkey? OK, maybe you didn’t have to be very observant to notice the turkey…he was pretty big!

 

 

 

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