Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gardening Session: Feb. 29th, 2012 (Wed.)

After school, we have accomplished these things:
1. Re-pot tomato seedlings into larger pots: these will be ready to be transplanted into the garden bed outside in about a month!
2. Paint the tree and letters onto our Garden Info Board: we still need to paint the background and the person holding the shovel. ^ ^

Thanks to those who came out to help today!
Hi everyone!

MEC's BC Green Games Submission is finished! 

Over the next month is a voting period for the best submissions. Please go to BC Green Games, make an account and vote for our submission. 

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Thank you all!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gardening Session for February 22

Plans for Wednesday (Feb. 22nd) after school:

1. Transplant Swiss chard into 3rd (west) box
2. Turn soil in first (east) box, take down its hoops, and plant a clover cover crop
3. Re-pot plants in rm 305
4. Design garden signage

We will meet right after school in Ms. Sewerin's room (325).
Come out and learn some hands-on gardening skills!

Garden Map

Here is our very nicely done preliminary garden plan for Spring 2012.

Re-Potting Chard and Kale

The kale and chard we planted last week are sprouting fairly vigorously, and I think they would like to be repotted into larger pots.  Perhaps we should have our first potting party soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Potting Supplies

I bought some potting supplies today, including some Sea Soil, which I think will give our baby plants a leg up; I put the supplies in the outside shed.  If we are going to grow tomatoes, we should start the seeds soon.  Perhaps some time this week we can get a few people together to start some more tomato seedlings.

Spring is Coming

Spring is just around the corner.  It's getting a bit warmer, and the garden is beginning to wake up after its long winter hibernation.  The garlic we planted last year is now popping out of the ground, and the kohlrabi is probably ready (or perhaps beyond ready?) to pick.  Now is the time to start thinking about what we will plant in the early spring.

I have been thinking about what we might grow this year, and I have some suggestions.  We don't have to do everything I suggest here, but I think that for each box we should choose a dominant crop (e.g. beans, tomatoes, or garlic and onions), and put other compatible crops around it in the same box.  Then we can rotate the dominant crops from year to year to prevent nutrient depletion.  Here is an interesting discussion about crop rotation.

East-Most Box  (I think we need a naming system for the boxes...any ideas?)
I am going to suggest we leave the east most box fallow for the spring and summer, planting a clover cover crop in the spring, and a buckwheat cover crop in the summer.  This box had a lot of things growing in it, and I think the soil needs a rest.  If we leave one box fallow every year, that will give each box a rest every four years.  That leaves the centre box and the west-most box (plus the new fourth box in mid spring) for planting.

West-Most Box
This box has lots of garlic planted.  The garlic (hopefully) will continue to grow through August, and anything we plant there needs to get along with the garlic.  Here is a discussion of companion plants to garlic that we could consider.  Companion plants to garlic will either help or be helped by the garlic.  I would suggest not planting things that will cover or hide the garlic, so we should probably pick things that will not grow too tall or thick.  This site by a garlic farmer in Boundary Bay says that garlic doesn't like too much competition, so we shouldn't plant too much in this box.  We also should not plant beans or peas in this box as they are incompatible with garlic.  I think the most important thing we can do for the garlic is to not over-water it.  It needs even moisture and soil temperature.  Perhaps we can use some of our bagged leaves as a mulch.

Centre Box
There isn't currently anything except rye growing in this box, so we can choose whatever we want to plant.  Some things we might consider:  tomatoes plus compatible companions.  Here is a large list of companion plants to browse.  Companions to tomatoes include basil, onions, chives, and nasturtiums. The advantage of planting primarily tomatoes in this box is that the boxes on either side won't contain tall growing plants, so there won't be as many shading issues.

New Fourth Box
We may end up planting later in the spring in the fourth box.  Thus it might be better to plant a fall harvest crop such as beans.  Also, squash and zucchini are good companions to beans, so that might be something to think about.  Beans grow tall, but the neighbouring box will contain short plants, so there won't be too many shading issues.  Around the dominant crop we could plant whatever compatible companions we choose.