School Garden Week of October 17th, 2022

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

Seeds are coming up!  I had an opportunity to plant with 100 third grade gardeners at Summit Rd. Elementary a couple weeks back and we have some serious germination.

Photo credit: C. Comer

The spinach is coming up which I am happy for as it is a finicky germinator.  The lettuce is coming up thick!


Photo credit: C. Comer.

This lettuce is pretty closely planted.  It needs some thinning.  It should be watered a few hours prior and then thinned.   A great job for student gardeners.  I recommend spacing to about 3 inches, which is approximated by the length of an elementary pointer finger for reference for students.  If you paper towel planted, you are spaced already.

If you have not yet direct seeded in the garden you can still plant many things: spinach, kale, lettuce, carrots, bok choi, and cilantro would all do fine planted now.  The soil temperatures at Waterman Farm here on campus, found at this link (plus the other research stations across the state) shows we are at mid-50’s right now, which is fine for cool season planting.



We have some cold nights coming up.  I recommend that you cover your new plantings outside with row cover or plastic overnight this week.  Row cover should be fine to leave in place during the day but you may need to vent plastic during the day as it may become too hot under it if it gets sunny.  

For indoor planting you can plant lettuce, bok choi, kale, or other leafy greens under the LED lights for potential transplanting or sending home with the students.  For your Aerogarden, you can still start leafy greens and herbs now.  If you get to winter break and you have good growth in your hydroponic systems, the smaller systems can be taken home and plugged in to continue to provide a harvest.  For any questions regarding your school growing feel free to email me at


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