Week 6: June 11, 14

Topics:

  • Planting instructions for different transplants and direct seeding
  • Thinning
  • Watering

Summary of week’s activities:

  • Continued work on individual beds
  • Watered entire garden
  • Thinned one row of demonstration radishes in group bed
  • Dug berms for sweet potato beds

After a few days of sunshine, the new plants are doing well, but in need of water. The garden needs a good watering every other day at least, so if there is no rain, this means that we will turn to the hose and watering cans. Especially if you have newly planted seeds and transplants, it is a good idea to give them a good soaking. Lettuce and carrot seeds are very small and have a tendency to get washed away by heavy rain, so it is a good idea to directly water them, or else you may find a rogue lettuce a few rows down! Gardeners gently watered the base of new young plants with watering cans to promote growth and plant health.

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In the group bed we have planted two rows of radishes. One row, we thinned the radishes, the other we allowed to grow as is. Thinning is a practice used for growing vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, and radishes, where gardeners pinch out some of the plants in a row, to give space for the vegetables to thrive. While it seems counter-intuitive to kill plants that you seeded yourself, it will pay off come harvest time. To thin radishes, you space the plants enough so that the size of a radish can comfortably grow, about half an inch or so. Radishes, carrots and lettuce are all secession plants, which means that we will be able to plant several rounds because they come to ripen within a month or so.

Lastly, we prepared two of the group triangular beds for sweet potatoes! To prep the beds we dug U-shaped berms, or trenches and mounds, in the soil. On Thursday, we hope to plant the sweet potato slips. Slips are cuttings from a parent sweet potato vine. Sweet potatoes grow best in a loose, sandy or silty soil that drains well.

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