>School Garden Update- Time for Thinning and Weeding!

>Overall garden and herb spiral

Well, apparently while I was gone on vacation, someone gave the school garden that I am helping out with a dose of steroids, because I came back to zucchini plants that desperately needed to be thinned and tomato plants sprawling all over. I am so pleased with the progress and it is a great feeling to be out there in the morning or afternoon and have the kids run over from the playground and ask “Jack’s mommy, what are you doing in there?”.

I asked them if they had checked on our plants lately and one little boy answered “Yes, they are getting really big! Do you think some of them are turning into trees?”

“Like in that story. Jack’s mommy, do you think our beans are going to grow really high into the sky like that?”

Bean plants growing amidst the nutgrass…before weeding!

“Like an apple tree. Jack’s mommy, are we growing apples in there?”

“Are there tomatoes? I love tomatoes. I have tomatoes at home growing.”

“Jack’s mommy, I know what that plant is. It’s celery!” (In fact it was zucchini. The stalk just looks a lot like celery!)

Needless to say, they are so excited.

John helped me build some cucumber ladders so our cukes could get off the ground and not crowd the other plants. I brought in the tomato cages yesterday. While putting them on, I was amazed to see our first little tomatoes growing on the cherry tomato plant. When I told the kids, you would have thought I told them that candy was growing in the garden.

Zucchini plants

The zucchini plants desperately needed to be thinned, which is always something that pains me. But I gritted my teeth and pulled out all but 2 for each hill (I know, there should be only one, but I just couldn’t do it. I’m a plant-pulling wimp, OK? I admit it.)

The second order of the day was the nutgrass. Did you see it all in the picture above with the beans? My god, it’s like someone specifically ordered a bucket-full of nuts to be dumped in here so I would have to battle them for the rest of my life. They get a little rain, and pop. It actually gets easier to weed as the veggies get bigger because the veggie plants can hold up better to brutal weeding than the little tender veggie seedlings can.

Herb spiral

So I spent about an hour carefully trying to pull the grass WITH the nut out. Because if you leave the nut in, it just sprouts three more plants. And those plants form seeds that sprout three more plants. And so on. And so on. Like Facebook, but in the garden…with weeds.

Finally, I checked on the herb spiral. All the herb seeds are coming up- basil, chard, dill, parsley. The oregano and rosemary look good. As I was working, one of the little girls in Jack’s class arrived for school with her mom. She ran right into the garden and was looking at the herb spiral. I picked a bunch of thyme and gave it to her to smell. She took a big whiff and smiled. “Mom, this smells soooo good. We need to plant some of this.”
Parsley growing in the herb spiral

She probably drives her mom crazy at dinnertime saying “Yuck, what’s that green stuff on my food!” 🙂


3 thoughts on “>School Garden Update- Time for Thinning and Weeding!

  1. >Bonnie – LOVE the nutgrass/facebook analogy! LOL The garden looks amazing – you must be so proud of it — that’s a great thing you are doing for/with them.

  2. >You got me with the Nutgrass going viral on Facebook, too. Have you ever read any old Henry Mitchell garden books, Bonnie? He tried to kill nutgrass for years, but the only time it died was when he deliberately transplanted it to a container. Well, if the kids get restive, one traditional use of nutgrass is to regulate one’s chi! Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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