Gardening Projects and Journal

May 27, 2007

We planted six tomato plants and nasturtium seeds in the garden box today.

May 26, 2007

The kale and chard have sprouted! The chard seedlings have red stems just like the adult plants so it was easy to know which plant was which. The boys and I went to Home Depot and I purchased six tomato plants to add to the garden, some soil for the two large pots we'll use for planting zucchini as well as some more culinary herbs for the herb garden. Yesterday Grandma R. brought over a cool book with Mickey Mouse on it that is called, "Why is Grass Green?" which has a lot of great onformation about plants (the Mickey part isn't really relevant, it's just cute) so I'm looking forward to reading it to Justin.

Here is the garden box as of today, May 26:

Garden planting, May 21, 2007

Today we found a break in the rain and planted green beans (bush variety), peas (with edible pods, also bush variety), kale, swiss chard, two types of carrots, and pumpkins. I need to get some dirt for two other large pots so we can plant zucchini, plus some seed potatoes (little red ones), tomato plants, and some nasturtium seeds which will also go in the garden. We planted in a raised garden box which I built last year, and we're using square-foot gardening, where you mark off your planter box into a grid and in each square foot you place a different crop. You can get a lot more produce from this technique. I'll post photos as the growing season progresses.

Carrot top, May 2007

I cut off the top of a carrot from the grocery store and placed it in a saucer of water. The greens had all been cut off. We placed the saucer in the kitchen window. A few days later there were some new green shoots growing out of the top. Justin has enjoyed watching the green top grow taller and more feathery and green.

Seed/soil experiment, Late April-May 2007

Can a seed grow if there's concrete blocking its way? In two separate plastic cups with drainage holes poked in the bottom we placed soil and 4 dried pinto beans. On the top of one cup of soil I placed a thin layer of wet concrete. We watered both cups frequently and kept them in our sunny kitchen window.

Justin predicted that the seeds covered with concrete would not grow because they wouldn't get any sun. I believed that the seeds would sprout and would find their way around the concrete at the edges and would force their way up. I wanted to show Justin how much "power" a little seed contains.

Two bean seeds in the non-concrete cup sprouted and grew vigorously. No signs of life in the concrete cup, though we kept watering and hoping. After the other bean plants were about 3" tall, I removed the concrete layer on the cup and dug through the soil to see the beans. They had turned into a white goo!

As of now (mid-May), the bean plants that are growing are ready to be put outside now and are becoming root-bound in the cup, and Justin believes that his theory has been proven by this experiment. I would like to do this again with some fresher bean seeds -- the beans we used were from our "bean box", a sensory table plaything I made for Justin in late 2003, so the beans may be a tad stale...though I don't know if it matters.