The weather was a questionable yesterday. It was cool and very rainy in the late morning/early afternoon. We hold Garden Club rain or shine but we prefer shine. We lucked out as the brisk breeze blew away the rain clouds and we were able to get outside and get to work.
Many seeds can be directly sown into the beds this early in the season. We are concentrating on companion planting this year so in one bed we planted carrots, beets, and chives. We chose to partner these up because planting carrots near onions confuses and repels the carrot rust fly. The bed in front of this one holds onions and chives are at either end of the carrots. Beets grow well with other root crops so that is why we added them to the carrots.
The children filled another bed with spinach and chard. These two crops are in the same family and grow well together.
In the bed that the peas were planted in last week the children planted marigolds to attract beneficial insects. The bed the peas are planted in are not amended well. Last year we only added a small amount of compost and leave mulch wintered over on it. By planting the peas we will enrich the soil because peas leave nitrogen behind in the soil. Beans do the same thing so that will be the next crop planted in this bed when the peas are done producing.
|The peas have sprouted and grown about an inch since last week!|
|We estimate 90% germination rate in the pea beds.|
The children were re-introduced to soil blocks. They got to make them and plant them. The reason we use soil blocks versus plastic or biodegradable starter containers is because soil blocks are the most natural way to start plants. The roots get all the oxygen they need to thrive and won't get disturbed when transplanting the seedlings into the garden. The blocks are made mostly of compost so the seedlings get the most nutrients possible and there is zero waste material to go into landfills or recycling centers.
|panting the 3/4 inch blocks|
|Once these seeds get their true leaves they will be "blocked up" into 1 1/2 blocks.|
The highlight of this weeks club was building fairy houses with Mrs. Bunnell. The children are creating fairy villages using natural materials. They were very excited planning and designing "mansions" for the fairies to occupy. Mrs. Bunnell works for Smith's Acres LLC in Niantic CT. Click here for a link to their upcoming fairy garden classes.
We are in full swing in the garden. We hope to start harvesting as early as May. Please stop back often to check out our progress.