We are trading pictures for a video again today! Take a look!
It’s that time again, and since I haven’t updated much in the last couple weeks, I have a lot to show you.
The lettuces are really looking great, while everything else except the perennial herbs are still just barely getting going.
Here’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.
The 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.
As 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.
We 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.
The 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!
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!
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.
Look at that awesome compost!
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!)
We 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.
We also planted the purple cabbage, purple snow peas, purple kohlrabi, more red/purple lettuces, and purple radishes in the K-State Purple garden.
Last 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.
Here 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!
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:
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!
After we got all the compost into the raised beds on Tuesday, we had a few things to get planted. Because of our garden plans this year, we just had a couple things to plant here and there.
First, we had ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes to plant in the MG Favorites Garden. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the planting. We also had a bundle of ‘Red Marble’ cippolini onion plants to go in the ground. They came in the mail yesterday, so we needed to get them planted.
The cippolinis are relatively small onions that are much flatter than normal onions. We chose them specifically for the Italian Garden, and then decided to plant the rest in the Salsa Garden, since we already had them coming. The plants for these onions were pretty small – smaller than I’ve seen before with other onion plants. I’m assuming it is because the end product is also smaller?
We also had some Lacinato Kale to plant in the Italian Garden and some ‘Parris Island Cos’ romaine lettuce for the Master Gardener Favorites Garden. These plants were started about a month ago, but I don’t think I ever got that on the blog.
We planted spinach and radishes in the MG Favorites Garden in an area that will be under the trellis later this spring. We also planted spinach in the ‘Taste of India’ Garden.
In the Italian Garden, we planted seeds of the endive/escarole mesclun and the ‘Italiko Rosso’ dandelion (red rib dandelion).
Hopefully by next week there will be growing things to photograph!