What to do in the garden NOW!
COOL SEASON CROPS: Time for a second planting of cool season crops such as lettuce, spinach, snow peas, arugula, etc. These mature quickly enough to produce before heavy freezes in the fall. Use a shade cover until mid-August to protect against the hot summer sun. This can be done by creating a small “hoop house” or tunnel with PVC pipe and shade/frost blankets.
SEASON EXTENDERS: Frost blankets can offer a couple degrees of protection. This link will give you more information about small garden tunnel construction. Another option uses “U” brackets attached to the side of a wooden raised bed and PVC anchored to the “U” bracket and bent over the raised bed.
SEED SAVING: As the season progresses, you have the opportunity to reserve a small part of the harvest for seed saving – a fabulous opportunity to teach “the circle of life”. If you are going to save seeds to plant next year, remember to consider hybrids and open- and cross- pollinated plants. Some will not produce the exact same plant the following year? That is not always a negative. It’s cool to see what might come up the following year!
HARVEST: It’s what’s it all about. Be vigilant! Cute zucchini become baseball bats seemingly overnight. Some plants produce better when continually harvested because the plant is trying to fulfill its reproductive function. If you have excess produce, please contact the Hunger Free Hotline 720-382-2920 to be connected with a food pantry near you. There are estimates that 5 BILLION tons of produce from backyard gardens never get consumed.
WEEDING: It is very easy to neglect weeding at the expense of harvest and classroom activities. Just as all of your veggies are producing seed, so are the weeds. You will save your garden team loads of time next year by keeping weeds in check now.
DATA ENTRY: SUPER IMPORTANT! READ!! Slow Food’s STT program values its partnership with school gardens, we hope you value your relationship with us. We ask in return for the support we give school gardens for you to enter data necessary for us to continue our work. Please add this link to your phone’s home screen. This will make it easy to add you hours and activities on the spot.