Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 8, April 8th, 2017

Welp, Week 8 of the veggie garden at SABOT went swimmingly! Today consisted of mostly maintenance and care for ALL THE PLANTS we’ve planted the entire season! The kids also participated in a Junior Master Gardener Presentation covering Milkweed and butterflies by our lovely volunteer educator Miss Jimenez!

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We watered our ‘Red Salsa’ Salvia and our ‘Carpet’ Petunias along with our cole crop plants making sure to check for any dead, bent or yellowing leaves to remove. We also checked for any unwanted insects. Then we mixed 1 oz of John Liquid Mix from Lady Bug Brand Organic Fertilizer Company with 1 gallon of water. Each plot received 1/4 gallon total of the solution to pour over their ‘Red Salsa’ Salvias, ‘TAM’ Mild Jalapenos, ‘Carpet’ Petunias and ‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumbers.

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Here one of our youth gardeners fertilizes his ‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumber. He also made sure that the potatoes were not impeding the growth of his cucumber. If so, we can gently tie a string across the side of the potatoes next to the cucumber to direct the growth away.

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WOW! Our ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli has developed a broccoli head! We removed any yellow or bent leaves off of ALL the cole crop plants: ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli, ‘Cheers’ Head Cabbage and ‘Snow Crown’ Cauliflower. We also made sure that the broccoli was not encroaching on the growth of the ‘Carpet’ Petunias.

BUG CHECK! The above two pictures are examples of a DETRIMENAL BUG versus a BENEFICIAL BUG! On the left, we see a Cabbage Looper who finds the leaves of this Cauliflower plant DELICIOUS hence all the holes. Unfortunately, it is hurting the plant and the only way to deal with the situation at this point is mechanical treatment. This is also known as squishing the bug!

On the right, you can see very fine strands attached to eggs hanging off of the trellis of one of our tomatoes. These eggs belong to a Green Lacewing Bug which help in the garden because they are particularly aggressive predators in their larval stage.  In fact, they are nicknamed ‘Aphid Lions’ for their fondness of aphids. They also eat thrips, mealybugs, immature whiteflies and small caterpillars.

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We lifted the Nsulate covers to allow our tomatoes to breathe. As they grow the stems can poke out horizontally from the cage and impede their own growth so we made sure to rearrange any loose stems and tuck them into the cage so they are growing up with support! We used HEB bags as ties for any stems that we could not tuck. We fertilized each tomato plant with 1 cup of organic granulate fertilizer, scratched it into the soil and then watered it in.

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We checked our numbers for the Bush Beans and the Yellow Squash, making sure there were a total of 45 plants for the Bush Beans and a total of 3 plants for the Yellow Squash. We re-seeded any missing plants, making sure that none of them were sticking up above the soil line after watering.

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We started to close out the day by applying a little bit of Javelin Bt on ALL the cole crop plants. We mixed 3/4 of a gallon of water with 2 drops of liquid Ivory detergent and then added 1 TBSP of Javelin Bt while swirling the watering can a little for a better mixture. Each plot got about 3/4 of a gallon total for their ‘Green Magic’ Broccoli, ‘Cheers’ Head Cabbage and ‘Snow Crown’ Cauliflower.

Our Junior Master Gardener educational session was a hit! Miss Jimenez talked about the life cycle of butterflies as well as about Milkweed, a plant that attracts and sustains butterflies. This is espcially important for citizens of San Antonio to learn about since our great city is an official sanctuary city for Monarch Butterflies!

Our city is covered in the golden orange beauty of monarchs every fall because they are migrating south towards their winter habitat in Mexico. Monarchs also play an important role in the rich hispanic cultural practice of Dia de los Muertos, celebrated by many in the city every October as the monarchs fly south. The butterflies are thought to be the souls of dearly departed loved ones!

Click here to learn more about our unique role as a city in the migratory path of the butterflies.

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We had a couple more Trinity University students come out today to help in the garden! Thank you for your service and all that you do for our community!

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