School Garden Week of October 16th, 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!


Thanks for sending me pictures!  I am responding to them as fast as possible.  Keep sending them to me,  I enjoy seeing your progress.

Let’s check out the forecast.


We have good growing weather this week.  Make sure you water every day until germination then every 2-3 days since we have had very little rain. While it shows rain on Friday,  plan to water unless we get a good amount of rain on Friday.

While we do not need to use the season extension  garden cover right now, it is a good idea to find your cover and your PVC supports if you removed them before the summer break.  Make sure to locate those materials now for when we see some frost on the ten day forecast. 

To get great germination, water every day until your seeds germinate in your raised beds. 

Outside in the raised beds:

This week planting recommendations:

  • Hopefully you have all your planting of radishes, peas, and cilantro done.  Let me know if you do not.  I do not recommend planting peas and radishes any longer, but cilantro does well in the cold weather and can still be planted.
  • Make sure you thin your seedlings outdoors.  See some pics below of some well spaced seedlings.
  • Friday – While we have rain in the weekend forecast, I recommend you try to water your seeds in the ground or your seedlings in your raised beds before you leave for the weekend.
  • No need for season extension right now, outdoor school gardens next to schools, playgrounds, and parking lots are generally pretty good micro-environments for growing.

For CCS teachers if you need soil, seeds, or fertilizer let Katie know.

Here are some pics from Valley Forge of their peas and radishes.  They will have a radish harvest soon!  (Pic Credit: Michelle H.)


Inside in the Aerogarden:

Hopefully you have had good germination and are getting good plant growth in your Aerogarden.  Send me some pictures and I will post them in the weekly email.

 Aerogarden has some great information on planting on their website.  CLICK HERE for their product manual website.

Click here for the Aerogarden planting guide for herbs –> herb_tending_and_harvesting_guide

If you have germination already, you should be thinning to one seedling per pod.  Make sure to cover up the unplanted openings to keep light from the nutrient solution.

There are three basil seedlings in this pod. They need to be thinned until there is one left.

Inside under LED lights.  

How are your plants growing under your LED lights?  Send me some pictures and I will use them in the weekly email.  You will need to fertilize every two weeks.  The fertilizer for indoor LED lights is the pink crystals delivered through bottom watering mixed according to the instructions on the package.

Tips for good germination and growth:

  • October is Bok Choy planting time under the LED lights.

Check out the seed starting video for the technique.  It is kale in the video, but the technique is the same as they are cousins.

  • Remove the humidity dome after germination.
  • If you do not have a humidity dome, you can use plastic wrap to lightly cover to provide humidity for germination.  Uncover the plastic wrap after seed germinate.
  • Check below for thinning pictures.  The seedlings are kale, but the technique is the same.  Bottom water if you are going to gently pull the seedling from the pot as it will slide out of moist soil.  If the seedlings are too mature, or too close together, then trim the seedlings off at the soil level with scissors.

I planted three seeds and all three germinated. I need to thin to one seedling. Any of them would make a good plant, but if I keep all of them they will compete. I need to thin to a single plant in the pot.



Thinned to a single strong seedling that can grow to maturity and harvest in the pot, or can be transplanted outside.


Let me know what questions you have!  Make sure you engage your kiddos in the process. Looking forward to a wonderful Ag in the Classroom season!

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