Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 2, February 25th, 2017

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BRRRRRR! Week 2 started out with an invigoratingly chilly, brisk morning and we had SO MUCH FUN getting our hands dirty again!

Before we got to planting the new veggies, we checked up on our work from last week. Even after the rough weather from San Antonio’s tornado week, we only had to replace ONE ‘GREEN MAGIC’ BROCCOLI PLANT because our gardener’s did such a good job. Pat yourselves on the back ya’ll!

We checked for any weeds or holes in our plots and then made sure none of the tubers from our potatoes were sticking out of the ground. We covered any of these with compost.

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ON TO THE NEW VEGGIES! We planted 2 ‘Cheers’ Head cabbage transplants and 2 ‘Snow Crown’ cauliflower transplants.

Along with brussel sprouts, kale and broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are commonly known as ‘cole crop’ plants. They are in the Brassicaceae family (formerly the Cruciferae family) and are known for having GREAT NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS. They are known as an antioxidant family of veggies because they are JAM-PACKED with vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber!

 Click here to learn a little a little more about cole crops from Agrilife Extension.

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We started with our ‘Cheers’ cabbages! As always, we have to measure out where to plant so we can allow the veggies enough room to grow in the soil without overcrowding each other. We measured 2 feet in from the end of the bed (where our irrigation spigot is) and then measured 1 foot in from the side of the bed. The two placed bamboo markers should have measured with 18 inches between each other.

Of course, we made sure to water the holes we dug so that our already watered transplant cabbages would have a moist environemt to thrive! Want to learn more about cabbage? Check here to see A&M’s Agrilife cabbage facts!

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We then measured 18 inches further into the bed from the cabbage to locate where to plant our ‘Snow Crown’cauliflower. This Pikachu above carefully plants his first Cauliflower transplant into wet soil.

Back in September 2007, the Snow Crown’ Cauliflower was awarded ‘Plant of the Week!” Click here to read Master Gardener David Rodriquez’s article about it!

After getting both cabbages and cauliflowers in the ground and watered, we mixed  1 oz. of Hasta-Gro , an organic fertilizer, with half of the water can, about 1 gallon of water . Each plot only needed a quarter bucket of mixed liquid fertilizer for their cabbage, cauliflower and last week’s broccoli. We made sure NOT to let any of the fertilizer get on the leaves, just on the soil around the plants.

The instructors then applied Spinosad, an organic pesticide, to the leaves of all the green, leafy plants. We diluted it at 2 oz. per 1 gallon of water and applied about 1 quart to all the veggies in each bed.

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Special thanks to our volunteers representing the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service organization at Trinity University! Not only did they help distribute compost and apply Hasta-grow to the plants but they also helped out in the experimental onion trial garden!

Stay tuned next week to see more of our veggies and how we’re using this onion patch to learn and become better gardeners! Remember we start journaling next week!

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 1, February 18th, 2017

YAY! SABOT has launched the Children’s Vegetable Garden for the Spring 2017 Season! A misty February morning turned bright and beautiful as kids, parents, grandparents and friends alike came together to learn in one of the nation’s oldest youth gardening programs! Many thanks to all of the Bexar County Master Gardeners and AgriLife Extension volunteers dedicating their time and expertise to the garden!

Special thanks to Milberger’s Landscape and Nursery for providing funds to pay for half of each plot so we can enrich gardening and education as a community!

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After covering garden procedure and safety protocol, we planted 1 row of 6 white Kennebec’ Irish potato pieces, 1 row of 6 red Pontiac’ Irish potato pieces and 2 Green Magic’ Broccoli transplants.

‘Green Magic’ Broccoli is a Texas Superstar Plant. Click here to check out the brochure to learn more about what that means and aquaint yourself with other Texas Superstars. You might even see a couple of the other veggies we’re growing on this list!

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As you can see above, the red and white potatoes are easy to distinguish from eachother. Notice how one side of the potato is cut and the other side has little green sprouts called ‘eyes.’ The dusty substance on the cardboard and on the cut sides of the potatoes is Phosphate dust, which helps to develop early roots and shoots.

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First, our youth gardeners evenly sprinkled their plots with 6 cups of Lady Bug natural derived Alfalfa based Organic Fertilizer. Then they measured for the placement of each potato, spacing them 6 inches apart and marking the spot with bamboo sticks. They dug a trough 4 inches deep and carefully placed each potato with the cut side down into the soil.

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Every gardener should label their plot! Once this bed develops into a lush bed of veggies and greenery that popsicle stick will help us identify when and where we planted! These taters should start sprouting foliage in about 5-6 weeks!

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Once the potatoes were planted and watered, we moved on to the ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli. Instead of using a seed, we used a Broccoli transplant which means that the plant has already grown a little bit by the time we place it in the soil. It is very important that a WET transplant goes into a WET plot or else the plant might not take to the soil.

In between our 2 tomato cages, we measured 2 holes about 12 inches apart. Then we sprinkled 2 cups of Lady Bug Organic Fertilizer, dug the holes about 4 inches deep and watered. The little fellow above is a FIRST TIME GARDENER! YIPPEE!

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This father-son duo planted the broccoli peat pot container a little deeper than the soil line of the hole they had dug, covering the purple color of the main stem so the soil was just below the seedling leaves. As Dad makes sure the broccoli stem is standing straight up, his son gently tamps the surrounding soil. It is important not to compress the soil too much because that can prevent much needed air and nutrient exposure to the plant.

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Gardeners concluded their day by watering and fertilizing the rest of the soil in their beds to prepare for next week’s veggie planting and making sure their PVC pipe irrigation systems were working.

If you would like to learn more, be sure to LIKE us on our Bexar County Youth Gardens Program Facebook.