School Garden Week of January 8th, 2024

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!

I hope everyone had a safe and restful break.  Welcome Back!!


First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:


Outside in the raised beds:

Hopefully everyone’s plants made it through the holiday break under season extension garden cover.  Make sure to do a visual inspection of your outside bed, but do not remove the cover.

For this week, I recommend leaving the cover on undisturbed. No need to water when using season extension garden cover as the water passes right through it and we are getting plenty of precipitation plus the plants are growing slowly. If you are using plastic consistently, you may need to water on a day when the temperatures approach 50 degrees. 

If your plants did not make it then do not worry!  We will be able to still plant and get a harvest in other ways. Let Katie know if you do not have any more spinach or kale seed but still need to plant spinach and kale.  We will be watching for a planting time outside in the raised bed.

If you still are getting your raised bed set up, let me know so we can talk about an individual plan for you at your school.

Otherwise keep the row cover on top of the raised bed and only check when temperatures get close to or above 50 degrees.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to

Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting collard greens in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  but we start collard greens in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at

Here is a planting example:

Example: There are 32 pots in the tray.  You could plant 8 lettuce, 8 kale, and 8 spinach now.  Then plant 8 collard greens in February.  Or substitute some bok choy or collard greens in for some of the kale and spinach.  Let me know if you have questions. 

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  



All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.

Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.


One tomato pod in an Aerogarden Harvest centered in the middle to get the most light, with the rest of the holes capped off.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at

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