School Garden Week of April 3rd, 2023.

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!


CCS GTS Teachers!   Keep your eyes open on your email for an email from Lauren Preston to pick your times for end of the season focus group times. 


Let’s check out the forecast.  It looks pretty good.

It looks like we will have good rain over spring break to water the outdoor plants. I recommend leaving the row cover in place over the raised beds while you are gone.

Outside in the raised beds:

It looks like we have a good window of opportunity to plant outside in the raised beds.  If you have leftover seeds from fall here is what you can plant:  radishes, peas, cilantro, lettuce, kale, and bok choy.   Any cool season vegetable can be planted now.  If you have some seeds in your classroom of other varieties let me know and I am happy to provide any recommendations or guidance. 

  • Please Note:  Plant your peas in the middle of the raised bed as they will get the tallest. Meaning down the middle in the tallest part of the raised bed.
  • Keep using your row cover,  we have cold overnight and while the spring plantings are cold tolerant,  they will appreciate a little extra protection.
  • Since we have some hot weather this week,  make sure to water and fertilize your outdoor plants this week, especially if we do not get much rain from the potential Wednesday storms!

Important to Note! This week is the last opportunity to plant seeds outdoors in the raised beds with enough time to get a harvest so make sure you get any seeds in the ground that you need to plant!


We are pretty much done with the need to use plastic but do not throw it away.  Let it dry out and then fold it up and store it so that you can use it next year.

Inside in the Aerogarden:

Tomatoes are growing in the Aerogarden.   Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  Make sure you are checking water levels and fertilize as needed.  Make sure you check water levels each Friday before you leave school so that the water level does not drop too low over the weekend.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide.

Keep your lights about 1-2″ from the leaves to avoid leggy plants.  Remember If you started two plants in your Aerogardens, you might need to thin to only one plant or they will overwhelm the Aerogarden eventually. You will need to start pollinating your tomato flowers once they appear.  Check the Aerogarden site for guidance on pollinating.  You will also need to do some pruning of your tomato plants to keep them growing correctly.

All of that is detailed very well in the Aerogarden Tomato Guide  –> tomato_planting_guide

Start to plan what you will do with your Aerogarden if you are leaving town for Spring Break.  Take the unit home, find a babysitter, or perhaps a fellow teacher who can keep the water added and the tomatoes fertilized. 

Want to share a kid-safe video with your kiddos on what hydroponics looks like growing at home?  Check out this Extension Today segment we filmed last year in the Demonstration Kitchen of my building.

Inside under LED lights.  

How do your plants look under the LED lights?   Make sure you continue to fertilize every two weeks as they grow.  The bigger they get the more you will have to water. I highly recommend you get your indoor transplants planted in the row cover before you leave for spring break.  If you cannot do this you can take them and the lights home to grow them or try to find a babysitter for them.

I got a question about transplanting basil from the Aerogarden to the outside raised bed.  Basil is very cold intolerant and would likely not survive, even under row cover. 

Make sure that you fertilize your outside plants every two weeks mixed in water according to the label.  Contact Katie if you need more fertilizer.  It is the pink crystal one for indoor seed starting and watering plants outside,  not the Aerogarden fertilizer. If you have some Shake and Feed from prior years that would be a good choice.

This week in transplanting:

  • Monday: A good day to harden off transplants for a few hours,  bring back in to your classroom overnight.  You could plant outdoors as well on Monday if that is your only choice as we have mild weather the first half of the week.
  • Tuesday:  A good day to plant outdoors under row cover.
  • Wednesday: A good day to plant outdoors potentially depending on the thunderstorms.  Stay safe!
  • Thursday: Good planting day.  Try to get all of your plants outdoors that are ready to be planted before you leave on spring break!
  • Be sure to re-cover your beds after you transplant.
  • Use only row cover and not the extra plastic layer so that the plants get watered when it rains.

Check out the transplanting video below to help with the process:

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