Monthly Archives: October 2009

Garden Polls

Here’s your chance to give us input on what you would like to see in our Demonstration Garden next year! Thanks for voting!


Watch Some Garden Videos!

I’m going to be at a conference for part of the week, so if you are looking for something garden-y to read/watch, check out these short videos at the Kansas Healthy Yards site!

Check out this video I did on using row covers to extend the growing season if you are missing our Demonstration Garden!

Also, be sure to check back tomorrow for some polls and the option to enter to win a prize!

Friday PhotoEssay

Purple Choy in the RainI admit it – I only planted the Purple Bok Choi so I would have a subject for some awesome pictures this fall. It is by far the most beautiful plant we have in the garden right now. Well…the Swiss Chard is a close runner-up, but you are probably sick of seeing pictures of that by now, aren’t you?

StrawRaspberryOne of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong… Hmm… Would that be the cluster of raspberries in amongst the strawberries? Now who is encroaching on whose territory?

PrecompostMmm…yummy chopped up pre-compost!

Bird's Eye ViewA bird’s eye view of the Herb Garden. There are still lots of great herbs to use. Now, why didn’t I think of climbing up on the edge of the wheelchair height garden to take pictures before?

Carrot TopsYeah, I can’t figure out why I just now thought of climbing up here either. Aren’t those carrot tops gorgeous? I hope the carrots turn out to be just as good! They aren’t quite ready yet.

Have a great weekend! I’ll be at our Annual Extension Conference next week, so posting will be lighter than normal.

Composting the Garden Residue

We had a whole stack of plants in the “waiting” compost bin after last week, and we added more this week. Luckily the composters were on hand this week to put all that residue into the “working” compost bins!

Digging out the pileFirst they had to pull all the plants out of the “trash” bin. You can see they’ve already made significant progress!

ShreddingThe next step was putting everything that could go through the chipper/shredder. It was damp, so that was a bit more challenging than normal. You don’t have to use a chipper/shredder to make compost successfully, but it does help the composting process go faster!

The chopped up plants were tossed into the compost bins. We have 2 of the 3 bins mostly full. We should have lots of great compost for spring!

Soil Testing in the Demo Garden

We are slowly wrapping things up in the garden for the year. Of course, many of the lettuces and other cool season vegetables will keep on growing until we have temperatures consistently below 28 degrees. One of our end-of-the-year projects this year is taking soil tests of the different garden beds. We haven’t done soil tests for several years, and I’ve been unhappy with the health and growth of the plants in the Family of 4 Garden particularly this year.

Procedure for Taking a Soil Test

Digging soilOne of the Master Gardeners is working on collecting soil for one sample. She is taking 6-8 scoops of soil to a depth of 6-8″ randomly around the garden and mixing them in a bucket.  We sampled each raised bed separately.

Soil SampleThese two Master Gardeners have already mixed their soil. Now they are putting about 2 cups of the soil in a labeled plastic bag. This is the sample from the Family of 4 Garden.

For most of the raised beds, we will be doing our normal test: pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Organic Matter.

For the Family of 4 Garden, we will be testing pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Organic Matter, Magnesium, Manganese, and Boron. The reason we are testing the additional 3 elements is because of the strange growth of some of the tomato plants. The fall beets have also been growing poorly.  Beets are one of few vegetables that are very sensitive to a deficiency in Boron. Hence the Boron test. It will be interesting to see our results!