School Garden Week of January 9th, 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!

I hope everyone had a safe and restful break.  The weather was unlike anyone had ever seen in the time frame.  It went from 60 degrees to 5 degrees in a matter of hours, stayed cold for days, then back to 60 degrees.  That may have been stressful for your plants.  I have heard back from teachers who lost their plants and some that their cold hardy kale, spinach, and cilantro did just fine.  Let me know how your plants did good or bad and let me know any questions at  I am going to discuss a whole bunch of planting scenarios below.  Email me if you have a question about what to plant right now.


First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:


Outside in the raised beds:

Hopefully everyone’s plants made it through the cold snap.  The snow would have helped.  It is a very good insulator.  I recommend you resist the temptation to check on them until about Wednesday or Thursday when we have a warm-ish day.  Once it gets close to 50 degrees you can carefully check under the row cover to see how they did.  If you have a layer of plastic on top of your row cover from over break,  you can remove the extra plastic layer tomorrow.

If your plants made it then great!  We have favorable weather for growing for the next couple of weeks in the forecast.

If your plants did not make it then do not worry!  We will be able to still plant and get a harvest in other ways. Let Katie know if you do not have any more spinach or kale seed but still need to plant spinach and kale.  We will be watching for a planting time outside in the raised bed.

If you still are getting your raised bed set up, let me know so we can talk about an individual plan for you at your school.

Otherwise keep the row cover on top of the raised bed and only check when temperatures get close to or above 50 degrees.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to


Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting broccoli in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  on pg. 30 it states we start broccoli in February – pg. 30 is correct,  we start broccoli in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  Lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  


Example: There are 32 pots in the tray.  You could plant 8 lettuce, 8 kale, and 8 spinach now.  Then plant 8 broccoli in February.  Or substitute some bok choy in for some of the kale and spinach.  Let me know if you have questions. 


All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.

Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *