Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 5, March 18th, 2017

With the first day of Spring just two days away, the childrens veggie garden is really kicking into full gear now! Just look at all that foliage! Today we planted 1 ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapeno and 4 ‘Carpet’ Petunias.

In addition to the more mild taste, this jalapeno is particularly virus resistant, an important trait for a pepper in South Texas since viruses have been a major problem historically in this region.  Click here to read more!

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Above you can see the Bexar County Master Gardeners and other volunteers in their pre-gardening meeting, discussing the agenda and planting strategies. Here, volunteer Mary Cross discusses the benefits of planting petunias in the garden! After a bit of research, she compiled a document for the kids so they can underdstand why it is beneficial to sometimes place flowering plants in relation to vegetables in the garden. Click Petunias as pest control (1) to see what Mary came up with!

Have ya’ll seen the great big compost pile we have out here? Above you can see just how much we have by scaling it to our lovely volunteers! They are scooping up compost and then sifting any unwanted mulch or rock material so we can use it on our potatoes!

Interested in learning more about compost? Click here to read Texas A&Ms’ Earth Kind Landscaping page about how to set one up and use it successfully!

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After scratching the soil no closer than 6 inches away from anything that has been planted, we added compost to our potatoes.While one person holds the dense leaves of our potatoes back, the other person gently pours and tamps the compost along the length of the entire potato plot so the compost rises 3 inches vertically from the soil line. This practice further encourages the root systems to grow!

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We then pulled up the Nsulate covers on our tomatoes to make sure they could breathe and also checked to make sure their stakes were set correctly. This means that each stake is set at the corner of the lowest wring. We also checked for cabbage loopers and roly pollies on our plants!

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We then measured out the space for our ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapeno and two of the ‘Carpet’ Petunias. This space is located between the middle divider and the outer cucumber trellis lip. We measured halfway across the width of the plot (about 22 inches) to place the bamboo stick for the ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapeno. Then we measured about 8 inches from the side board on both sides, resulting in three bamboo markers as seen above.

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We made sure the ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapeno transplants were well watered and then set to digging a hole about 4 inches deep, enough so that it was wide and deep enough so that the peat pot will not show after watering. Then we dusted the hole with about 1/4 cup of rock phosphate, lowered our transplants in and covered the top of the peat pot. We finished it off by placing the trellis and watering.

On to the ‘Carpet’ Petunias! We then dug a hole about 4-5 inches deep for the other two bamboo markers next to the TAM’ Mild Jalapeno. We were very careful about the depth because if the hole is too deep, the plant could rot. We made sure the petunias were watered, lowered them in gently and tamped the soil around them.

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We then planted the last 2 ‘Carpet’ Petunias between the two ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli plants. Like the other two petunias, we measured 8 inches width-wise from either side of the bed and repeated the planting process from the first two petunias.

We finished up using Hasta Gro on all of our green plants. We mixed 1 oz of Hast Gro for each gallon. Each plot got a full gallon to use on all of their green plants.

Join us next week for our bean planting!

 

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