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.
It looks like our nice weather is taking a break this week. You will need to cover up your raised beds today with season extension garden cover. If you have plastic, it would not be a bad idea to cover your beds with the plastic overnight as well. Make sure if you cover with plastic overnight that you remove the plastic in the morning on the sunny days or it might get too hot for your plants.
Outside in the raised beds:
This month is planting of spinach and kale.
This week planting recommendations:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – keep your beds covered with the season extension garden cover.
- Thursday and Friday – good planting days for spinach and kale, make sure to water your seeds after planting to promote good germination.
- If the season extension garden cover is frozen, do not try to open it or it may tear.
- Cover your beds with season extension garden cover Friday before you leave school if the weather changes and gets cold like it did this past weekend.
For CCS teachers if you need soil, seeds, or fertilizer let Katie know.
Inside in the Aerogarden:
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.
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 on Bottom Watering: We have been getting lots of questions regarding bottom watering. Here is a step by step look at the process:
- Be sure to bottom water twice per week under the LED. Watering before you leave school on Friday is recommended as one of the times.
- Remove the insert tray holding the pots from the the bottom tray.
- Fill the bottom tray half full of water.
- Place the pots in the water so that they can absorb water through the holes on the bottom of the pots to fully hydrate the soil.
- Leave them in the water for about 30 minutes until fully hydrated.
- Dump the extra water from the bottom tray.
- Replace the insert tray into the bottom tray and put the pots back into the insert tray to drain.
- Every two weeks add fertilizer to the bottom water according to the label.
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.
- As your plants grow, keep the seedlings within a few inches of the LED light panel so that they do not get too leggy.
We had a fun PD recently with some new methods to grow. Here are some pics for you to enjoy of some alternate ways to grow in hydroponics in your classroom.
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!