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Here is our teaching garden to-date. You can see near the right side of the photo the newly planted rows of sweet and spicy peppers. It’s a full veggie garden now!

Here is our teaching garden to-date. You can see near the right side of the photo the newly planted rows of sweet and spicy peppers. It’s a full veggie garden now!

Our resilient onions are making a comeback!

Our resilient onions are making a comeback!

The afternoon we planted

Yesterday afternoon Cara, Sarah, and I planted our little veggie seedlings in the teaching garden. We ended up with 10 rows of veggies altogether. Some we directly sowed and did not start from seeds. These tend to do better when direct sowed (ds).


From left to right we planted in rows

1)      carrots & radish (ds)

2)      mesculin, white chard, & arugula (all ds)

3)      kale & red chard (ds)

4)      cabbage

5)      broccoli

6)      cauliflower

7)      beets

8)      (sickly, sad looking) lettuce

9)      N/A

10)   Onions

11)   Cucumbers

Things we learned

·       Plant half as many seedlings of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumber. We had about half a flat of each of these leftover. We’re keeping some on reserve in case some of our seedlings don’t make it. Otherwise, we will be donating them to our staff garden near our kitchen on our property.

·        Trying to start onions from seed is extremely difficult. We had to scrap all of our “seedling onions.” The onions we planted are the ones that were rescued from our garden earlier this spring (which were planted last fall).

·        Egg cartons are great for starting seeds but you can’t keep them in the carton for very long. We lost of all our cute little squash plants because we didn’t bump them up to a bigger pot fast enough. We will be directly sowing the rest of our squash seedlings next week in hopes of having some squash plants (for Cara and Sarah to eat).

·        Starting lettuce from seed also did not seem to go very well. I couldn’t give up on them so I planted them in one of our open/unused rows. I also seem to have misplaced the other lettuce seeds  I thought we had so if these little guys don’t take, I will have to go buy some more.

Onions and peas

I’ve been slowly cleaning out the education building as most of our seedlings are outside now. I’ve taken all the rest of the seed starting materials including the leftover pro-mix and old flats down to the gardening shed as well. Only the peppers and squash are left inside.

I’ve also moved our new strawberry plants and the onions that were rescued from the garden, back down to the garden. They’re hanging out with the peas here in this picture. They’ll go in next week Tuesday with the rest of the plants.

Spray bottles…

Another great idea of mine was to source spray bottles within our office to help water the plants. While I was waiting, I decided to be my resourceful self and raid the office for anything that could resemble a watering device.

What I came up with was 2 old plastic bottles from Tony’s BBQ sauce. Although these seem completely irrelevant to what I needed, they weren’t. They worked really well to get water directly to the seed without splashing.

Today was also a big day for the plant flats. I rotated their direction in which they were facing the sun. Each day I water I also rotate them around in a circular motion on the tables.

I was pretty busy today. I also saved onions from a potential tilling disaster at the teaching garden. It seems we had onions left in the garden from last year which has overwintered (even though winter isn’t what I’d call what we had this year). I planted these gardenless onions in containers in hopes of saving them for post-tilling planting.

We also had the reindeer hay (yes reindeer) and last year’s weedpile removed from the garden.


water, water, water

Most of my little flats have sprouted (except for peppers, spinach, and onions). I realized I didn’t plan for enough flats for radishes or tomatoes. I’ll work on this.

Once again, I can’t stress those math skills that seemed useless in school. Pre-planning takes a lot of the stress and anxiety out of starting your own seeds.

In my excitement, I somehow also forgot to purchase green beans (my second favorite veggie to beets). Once again, pre-planning is key.

I suggest keeping a list from year to year what you plant (and what you actually eat).

Seeds planted

Today I planted and capped all the flats with Espoma Organic Seed Start Premium Potting Mix. I planted one seed per space in the 72 count trays/flats (except for the carrots & a couple of others, they were just too dang small). Anyway, here is what was planted.

  • Beets (Chioggia Guardsmark Beet High Mowing Organic Seeds)
  • Broccoli (De Cicco Broccoli High Mowing Organic Seeds)
  • Cabbage (Copenhagen Market Botanical Interests)
  • Cauliflower (Chef’s Choice Blend Botanical Interests)
  • Cucumber (Green Finger Cucumber High Mowing Organic Seeds)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onions (Red Wing Onion High Mowing Organic Seeds)
  • Peas
  • Peppers (Cook’s Garden Hot Pepper Mixture & Burpee Sweet Pepper Carnival Hybrid Mix)
  • Spinach
  • Carrots (Danvers 126 Carrot High Mowing Organic Seeds)

Now some of these I purchased new. Others I found in a pile of seeds from previous years of gardening. They were what I like to call my gamble. I wanted to see if they would work and it may save me $1.78 in not buying seeds.