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Friday PhotoEssay – June 30, 2017

It’s been a few weeks since our last PhotoEssay, and the garden has changed significantly! Here’s our overview for this week: 


Just a comparison of the same view last week: 35446106376_acaed67120

And the same view three weeks ago:

35031930602_45365981f0The vine crops have grown more than 10x bigger overall (and I’m pretty sure twice the size just since last week!) and the tomatoes are at least twice the size. The peas are gone and have been replaced with more plantings of squash and melons. 

While the garden looks great from a bird’s eye view, from a closer look I can tell you that some of the normal summer disease and spider mite issues are already starting to take hold.  But….I have enough neat things to show you without showcasing the start of the usual death and destruction. 

Here’s another view of the Vertical garden, taken a week ago. The vines had just reached the size where clipping them to the trellises was necessary that week, and they were already escaping the trellises again. 

And the same view again, perhaps a slightly different angle. This was taken yesterday. While the watermelon vines (closest to the front) are not thick (yet), they have clearly been growing quickly! It takes regular clipping or tying to keep the vines from getting out of control. 


We had a big harvest week this week as well. I’ll be posting the Grocery Garden Harvest Report soon, but we also harvested some sprouting broccoli, Swiss chard, kale, and onions from the accessible beds, cabbage from the colonial garden, and eggplant from the containers. The beets, carrots, and beans are from the Grocery Garden. 

The ‘On Deck’ sweet corn is tasseling! It isn’t even three feet tall when it supposedly should be five. Perhaps a little short on nitrogen? At any rate, corn doesn’t typically put on height after tasseling. I don’t see any signs of ears developing yet, so I’m not overly optimistic…But it is cool to have corn growing in our garden in a container. Maybe we will recommend it as an ornamental for containers? 

This is one of the artichoke plants. If you look really hard at the center of the picture, you can see a small, purple bud, which is the start of what will be the artichoke at some point. Artichokes actually ARE the flower buds. This one is still very immature, but it’s nice to see that we’ll get something out of this bed, even if not very much. 

Have a great weekend! 

Friday VideoEssay – July 8, 2016

We are trading pictures for a video again today! Take a look!

Friday PhotoEssay – April 15, 2016

It’s that time again, and since I haven’t updated much in the last couple weeks, I have a lot to show you.

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The lettuces are really looking great, while everything else except the perennial herbs are still just barely getting going.

26405775326_a0c51593dfHere’s a closeup look at one of the quilt block lettuce gardens. We’ve had a few casualties, especially of the green variety, so the pattern isn’t perfect, but I think you can see the general idea.

25826861154_73fcabf7fdThe varieties in the other quilt block garden haven’t grown quite as fast, so it isn’t as full-looking, but you can still see the pattern.

26431720005_515dc761baAs one sign of how cold it didn’t get this past winter, our flowering sage is still alive. It is also starting to bloom again, which is very odd for this time of year. My guess is that since it didn’t die, it responded to the short daylength of spring by initiating more flowers.

26158548370_de29581f53_zWe are also trying out a new salad table this year in the Accessible Garden area. This table top garden is only 5″ deep and is intended for only shallow-rooted vegetables, primarily in spring and fall.

26158871470_68d076194b_zThe snow peas, kohlrabi, cabbage, and lettuce in the K-State Purple garden are off to a thriving start. We’ll be filling in with warm season vegetables in the next month.

That’s it for this week! Have a great weekend!

Friday PhotoEssay – March 25, 2016

We had our first workday in the garden this week, and hence our first photo tour of the garden today. We worked hard, between the Compost crew and the Demo Garden crew. We added compost to our garden beds as fast as our Composters emptied the bins and screened the compost!

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Incorporating Compost

We refilled almost all of the beds to a full level. We had one bed that still had straw from last year, so we added compost and then turned it all under, adding a little nitrogen fertilizer to help the straw break down faster.

25404444653_85ecbcc176Look at that awesome compost!

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Our lettuces that we started just 4 weeks ago were ready to be planted outside, even though the forecast was for cold and wind. The cold temperatures actually help make the red lettuces a darker color. (The wind just makes everything look battered until they adapt to it!)

25733558530_41c91d926cWe planted them into the quilt block beds, using bamboo stakes to mark out the pattern. I’m looking forward to seeing how these beds look once they are filled in.

25401573774_b3d729c479We also planted the purple cabbage, purple snow peas, purple kohlrabi, more red/purple lettuces, and purple radishes in the K-State Purple garden.

25401547844_f745d1a466Last but not least, we had a group inside planting our pepper and eggplant seeds that will be planted outside in early May! They are now living under the lights in my office, waiting to germinate.

25733540350_f743b80ae9Here is the picture of the whole garden for this week. I know you can’t see much, but the weeds are gone and the beds are full of soil and compost!

Sneak Peak at our 2016 Demo Garden Plans

You may find it hard to believe that we jump right in to planning our Demonstration Garden the first week of the new year, but we do! This allows us plenty of time to plan, order seeds, start seeds, and get everything growing in the garden in a timely fashion.

Our Master Gardener Demonstration Garden committee met this past Tuesday to start the planning process and decide what the themes are going to be for our garden beds this year. We always have fun thinking about new things we could try growing.

Here is our overall garden plan for the 2016 garden:

2016 Garden Map

Bed 1: Peppers are the Herb of the Year, so we will be showcasing a wide variety of peppers this year. We will also do some leafy greens in the spring and fall in a “quilt block” pattern.

Bed 2: There are so many new purple vegetables, herbs, and other edibles that we thought it would be fun to do an all purple garden.

Bed 3: Tomatoes! We don’t know yet what we will showcase, just that there will be tomatoes.

Bed 4: We will be featuring some Oriental vegetables that can be grown successfully in Kansas – some common, others not so much.

Bed 5: Our popular herbs & pollinator flowers garden will be moved to Bed 5 for this year.

Bed 6: Root vegetables – some old favorites, but also possibly some less- common roots.

Bed 7: Grape vine and thymes

Bed 8: Perennial herbs

Bed 9: We thought it might be fun to try Hops in advance of 2019 when it is Herb of the Year.

Bed 10: Plants from the Zingiberaceae (Ginger) family, such as ginger, cardamom, galangal, turmeric, etc.

Accessible Garden/Containers: We are going to feature some of the new “compact” or container-type tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and more. We may also try out a new salad table design from our Hort Therapy committee and make a “pallet” garden like those that have been so popular on Pinterest and Facebook last year.

As you can see, we have some exciting things coming your way this summer, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!