School Garden Week of April 17th, 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!

Welcome Back!!  I hope that you had a safe and restful Spring Break.


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 (due this Thursday!)  and for the March survey. 


First up is Extension Today at Georgian Heights where the kiddos are planning, planting, harvesting, and tasting fresh school grown produce indoors and outdoors. I had a wonderful time filming this segment.  I am so proud of them, they did an amazing job!  All of you who engage your kiddos in agriculture are making a huge impact in their lives.  I appreciate you.

Let’s check out the forecast.

A little bit of heat mid-week and then it looks like normal spring weather for a little bit.


Outside in the raised beds:

We did not get good rain over the past week.  I recommend that you water as well as fertilize your outdoor beds, especially as we have some mid-week heat. 

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. Keep using your row cover.  If you uncover your beds during the day,  place the cover back over the beds before you leave.  It will help with the temperature as well as protect your crops from nuisance wildlife. I have gotten some reports about bunnies eating the crops.

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.

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


Inside under LED lights.  

Does anyone have any plants under the LED lights indoors?   Make sure you continue to fertilize every two weeks as they grow.  The bigger they get the more you will have to water.

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. You could plant it in a pot and keep it under the LED lights with occasional trips outdoors.

If you have plants under LED lights then there are some good days for transplanting this week.

This week in transplanting:

  • Monday: Too chilly and windy.
  • Tuesday:  A good day to plant outdoors under row cover, wait until mid-day when it warms up..
  • Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Good days to plant outdoors.
  • 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.
  • If you are done with plants under the lights then clean all your materials (warm soapy water, dish soap is fine) and pack them up very carefully, including the cords, timers, etc… and label the box with your name, so that they will be ready for you next year.

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

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