Week 10 – Pests (The Dreaded Cabbage Worm)

It had to happen sooner or later, though I was hoping it would be later. A pest has found our broccoli and cabbage. This is what the damage looks like

cabbage worm damage

This is the culprit, the dreaded cabbage worm

cabbage worm

And this is the cure-
BT, short for Bacillus thuringiensis, is a beneficial bacteria that can also be found under the trade names, Dipel and Thuricide. BTcan be used as an organic pesticide by mixing with water and applied to the underside of the plant leaves. Several applications are advised. The following diagram courtesy of Abbott Laboratories shows BT in action.

School Garden News – Malta

Typical Maltese Garden Opened

…Seeks to nurture increased environmental awareness amongst children…Minister Pullicino praised the children who helped during the construction of this garden.

He lauded the success of the Eko-skola, that aims at mobilising schools to empower students to adopt an active role in environmental in their school and community. This project sees the participation of 25,000 primary school students from 54 schools. He added that discussions are underway to include secondary school children in this project.

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Week 9 – Weeds, First Harvest

First the good news, we’ve begun harvesting our radishes. See how they pop out of the soil We’re also getting the first first of our mixed greens (arugula, tat soi, mizuna and mustard). When harvesting greens pick the outer leaves and let the inner ones continue growing. This way we can harvest over a longer period. If any one is keeping score it took five weeks from seed to harvest.

Weeding
The bane of any garden are the plants that grow where we don’t want them to. That is the definition of a weed. Some so called weeds like purslane, mint and fennel are actually edibles that without careful attention become quite invasive.

The best method for weeding is to get them while they’re young. Pull out the entire plant including roots so they won’t be able to grow back. A mild watering beforehand will make the task a little easier.

School Garden News – California

School Gardens Take Root in L.A.
California School Garden Network and Network for a Healthy California – Los Angeles Unified School District, in partnership with Western Growers, the California Instructional School Garden Program and the UC Cooperative Extension’s Common Ground Program hosted a “Growing Healthy with School Gardens” – a school garden resource fair in Los Angeles.

The Oct. 6 resource fair was at Harmony Elementary School in Los Angeles from 8 a.m. to noon. Western Growers provided free, fresh fruit and vegetable snacks at the event. Additionally, more than 30,000 seedlings were available for teachers who are interested in launching or enhancing their own school garden.

California Secretary of Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, addressed the teachers and principals in attendance, speaking about the important role school gardens play on campus as “learning laboratories.”

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Week 8 – Transplanting (video)

Transplanting involves moving a plant from one place to another as well as planting seedlings that were started from seed at a different locale. The secret of successful transplanting is not to disturb the roots. Use a trowel (or hand shovel) for small plants and seedlings and a regular sized shovel for larger plants.

First thing you want to do is to dig a hole where the plant will grow, then dig up the plant to be moved trying to get as much soil around the roots of the plant as your tool will allow. Lastly, water well and often till the plant is established.

School Garden News – Oregon

Hamlin Garden Keeps on Growing

Jared Pruch, director of the School Garden Project, visited Hamlin’s garden this summer and said the site is “a great example” of what can be accomplished.

Hamlin is one of four Springfield schools that belong to the School Garden Project, a grassroots nonprofit group that provides training and support to member schools.

“We really think being able to connect kids to the food they eat is an important part of their education,” Pruch says.

Week 7 – Seedlings, Trellis

Everything we planted with the exception of potatoes have germinated. As we observe our seedlings bursting forth notice how certain family members look similar. The following are from the Amaranthaceae family, the red seedling is a beet the other is swiss chard.

Beet Seedling

Beet Seedling

chard-seedling

Swiss Chard Seedling

For those growing peas be sure to set a trellis in place before they germinate. A trellis is any structure that supports a climbing plant. It can be as simple as a stick in the ground or as elaborate as an artistic sculpture.