>The Preschool Garden revived!

>I know I have referred a lot to the school garden that I manage. But I have to make a change because I have (quite insanely, as my husband points out) agreed to help out with the gardens being started at my older child’s elementary school . So, today I wanted to show how the preschool garden, as it will hereafter be known, has really been revived by the short spell of rain and cooler temps. Which should return tomorrow after a few unbearable hot and humid days this last week. Yay!

First, this is an overall photo of the 6′ x 12′ bed in which the veggies are growing. You can see the fall crop of squash in the foreground. We have crookneck and eight ball squash here. To the left side are the pumpkins growing on our homemade trellises that were previously used for cucumbers. You can on both of these that we have a smattering of powdery mildew. I had been hoping it would resolve on its own if I removed affected leaves, but no such luck. I am going to use a home remedy tomorrow of diluted cider vinegar. Apparently it changes the pH and inhibits the mildew. I’ll report back on its success. In the rear, you can see the tomatoes. These have been going since spring. I cut them back by half in August and they just instantly started growing like crazy. I removed two out of six that were not recovering from the drought and propagated two new tomato plants by layering branches from the healthy plants down under the soil until they sprouted roots.

Here is one of the crookneck squash plants. Seems to be putting on squash pretty successfully, I did have to come up and perform some surgery on these a few weeks ago when I discovered borer holes, despite my gleefully squashing eggs between my fingernails every day when I found them. Some of them slipped by and chomped right into the stems. I cut four out and buried the sliced-open stems under more soil to encourage rooting. I harvested two crookneck squash today and gave them to the cook who announced she would be pureeing them into the spaghetti sauce later in the week. I love it!

We are also growing eight-ball squash. My first time to do it and the shape is just so cool. We have one pant that is producing green ball squash and one that is producing yellow. I brought a green home today to try so I could give a description to the cook. Diced and sauteed it and topped it with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Yum! Plus they are really cute.

And finally the pumpkins. Again, I have been fighting borers and powdery mildew which have taken their toll. I pulled one small plant up today who just couldn’t keep up the fight. But my other plants are going gangbusters, climbing over the trellises and under the tomato plants, actually using the tomatoes as a trellis in some cases. And here you can see a few of the pumpkins. They are all baby size pumpkins, as we don’t have the room for the big mama pumpkins.

Let’s hope I can manage the powdery mildew and keep these lovelies alive until Halloween!

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