Week 8: June 24 to 29 – A Potluck and Potato Care

Topics:

  • Maintaining cucurbits

Summary of the Week:

  • Learned how to fight pests or diseases that can damage cucurbits
  • Hilled potatoes
  • Second potluck of the season
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Gardeners work quickly as a storm rolls over the Community Teaching Garden,

Another wet, buggy week with the constant threat of thunder was not enough to stop the Community Teaching Garden students from working away – weeding, potato hilling, and maintenance of the cucurbits. We worked hard to fit our weeding in before the thunder rolled in or the bugs ate us while also learning about the importance of hilling potatoes.

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Working hard on the potatoes.

Our shared potatoes are fighting potato beetles and wet conditions and it was time to start hilling our rows. Hilling potatoes after they have started to show their leaves above the soil ensures that the potatoes will be healthy and successful. We took the surrounding excess soil and hilled our potatoes around the stem and right up to the leaves to provide the potatoes with enough soil to grow fully and to keep them from reaching the surface. If the potatoes are exposed to too much direct sunlight they will be ruined. Hilling the potatoes also helps with rain drainage, which is definitely important for us in our garden this year. For more information on how to care for potatoes and why hilling is a necessary step in potato gardening, check out this website, http://www.garden.org/foodguide/browse/veggie/potatoes_care/571.

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Potatoes before and after hilling.
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Hilling potatoes.
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Weeding and hilling potatoes.

After learning how to hill our potatoes we also continued to maintain our cucurbits by giving the leaves a light spraying of baking soda and water. This week, one class also tried a milk and water mixture on their cucurbits. We will keep track of the progress of the plants and test each mixture to determine which one will work best in our garden to keep the cucurbits healthy. Keep watching your cucurbits to see if the solution you used is working!

After a busy week of gardening we rewarded ourselves with a delicious brunch potluck on Saturday morning. The clouds broke and it turned into a warm, sunny morning in time for our potluck, where a mix of students, staff, and guests gathered for some garden talk and yummy food!

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A table full of delicious food to share.
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Gardeners enjoying the food and sunshine.
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