Kids in the Garden

 

Featured in

The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal Observer

 

Andrea’s Update on WHAT IS GROWING!  

 

The tomato plants are busy blooming and setting fruit though the fruit is not ripe yet. I check daily for those hungry caterpillars, they are busy out there! Our Eggplants that are planted out are blooming now and will soon set fruit. I have more eggplant seedlings starting. The mustard greens are growing very well and they are such an easy green to grow. I enjoy putting a little mustard green in my salads for a peppery kick. The kale and Swiss chard are coming along well and I have more started in the greenhouse. Our little pepper plants are starting to bloom as well.

 

The main pests we are running into now are caterpillars, whitefly and ants. Once the ants get into your containers it is difficult to get rid of them. They are usually after the aphids on the underside of the leaves. This is part of the reason we did a Ladybug release this past Saturday evening. The Ladybugs have been very busy all over the garden eating white fly and aphids. Unfortunately I noticed this morning that quite a few ladybugs were dead on the soil of one of our potted Pepper plants. I believe the ants won that war. The good news is that all over the garden, there are many more ladybugs that are doing quite well.

 

I am not having much luck with lettuces aside from quick growing leaf lettuces. The romaine keeps bolting on us. We have an area in the garden that is low and stays too wet, and that may be contributing to this. That is why I am focusing more on Kale, and chard, and starting some spinach. In the spring we will add more soil to this low area to help alleviate this issue.

 

I am now poring through the seed catalogs to start planning for the warm season garden.

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Irrigation. Irrigation is the watering of land to make it ready for agriculture. Irrigation comes from the Latin for "moist" or "wet," but it means the purposeful wetting of something. We’ll assume “something” means the wetting of the roots of our plants! It’s important to be consistent with your watering. Tomato plants can end up with Blossom-End Rot if watering is inconsistent. Blossom-End Rot disorder is usually most severe following extremes in soil moisture (either too dry or too wet). Besides the Blossom-End Rot, there is also Fruit Splitting. Variations in rainfall may cause damage. Although watering in dry spells will help, in periods of heavy rain there is no remedy for the damaging effects of flooding, which often leads to fruit splitting and cracking. If you have an irrigation system, turn it off during the rain. Prompt harvesting of fruits may reduce losses. 

 

Out at the garden, we water twice a day automatically through a timer. Our wiring has gone awry so we are scrambling to get the situation under control before problems are created.  

 

In our Aeroponic systems, water (along with nutrients) are pumped up to the roots of the plants every 15 minutes. If the pump fails for any reason, the plants roots have no protection from  the air drying them out. This will stress the plant and also create an inconsistent watering. In our hydroponic tomato plants, we quickly lose vines if the roots are without water. Hydroponics need to be observed daily.  

 

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Support those who support Gray Mockingbird!

Eat at South Shore Restaurant and Clary’s. Buy produce at Don Victoria’s.

 

Saturday’s are always work days! Volunteers are always welcome and appreciated! 

Plants are your children, treat them kindly so that when they grow up, they’ll take care of you!