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.
I recommend you keep the row cover over your plants due to the overnight temperatures. There are good opportunities to plant or check existing plants. There is no rain on the forecast so water new seeds daily until germination and water growing plants at least twice per week. Try to make one of the watering days be Friday so it is watered over the weekend.
Outside in the raised beds:
This month is planting of spinach and kale.
This week planting recommendations:
- All days this week – keep your beds covered with the season extension garden cover.
- All days are good planting days for spinach and kale, make sure to water your seeds after planting to promote good germination.
- 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.
- If you want to pop the top on row cover to take a quick peek, any day will work this week, just wait until closer to mid-day so that the micro-environment warms up. Just be sure to cover back up when done viewing the garden.
- If the season extension garden cover is frozen, do not try to open it or it may tear.
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.
Check out this portion of the seed starting video that shows bottom watering.
Tips for early seedling care.
Check out the seed starting video for the technique. It is kale in the video, but the technique is the same:
- 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!