Kids in the Garden

 

Featured in

The Lake Worth Herald and Coastal Observer

 

Andrea’s Update on WHAT IS GROWING!  

 

I promised to be honest. I have truly given up on growing yellow squash; it became inundated with cabbage looper or leaf looper caterpillars. And the squash that it was giving was wrinkled, shrunken and horned. Yellow squash and zucchini are so inexpensive to buy organically; I am NOT fighting nature here. I pulled the plants and said, OH WELL. We are here to grow. If you aren’t growing, you got to go! I will not use chemicals. 

 

You NEED to bring in beneficial insects into your garden. But you can’t expect to just dump them and have them stay. We are going to do a Ladybug release soon at the garden. They eat aphids, mites, and the hated Whitefly. But you need to provide a home for them before you release them. The babies of ladybugs look like alien crabs. The Ladybug Mom’s will deposit their eggs on Dill plants, and the undersides of leaves of plants that have aphids. Dill is an amazing herb. It is so easy to grow. But, don’t cover the seed, just sprinkle it on the ground, water and walk away. Once you have a strong dill plant, let it go to flower and seed. Then just let nature plant it. If you have ants growing dirt mounds up your pepper plants or other plants, they are after the nectar or waste that aphids leave behind. Grow flowers that bring in lady bugs, plant dill, and provide a home for the ladybugs. Our Lake Worth 4H Group and Gray Mockingbird Community Garden will be at the 10th Annual Festival of Trees this Saturday. We will be selling Ladybug lodges to raise funds for our 4H group and the Garden. Please stop by our tent! 

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Have you tried hydroponics? We are growing hydroponically using a couple different medias in place of soil. Our aeroponic Garden Tower units use rockwool. Rockwool is a horticultural growing media made from the natural ingredients Basalt rock and Chalk. Our Verti-Gro system uses course Perlite and Coconut coir. There are no nutrients in the media. All nutrients are delivered to the plants via the water. We recommend using well water or filtered water with no chlorine. The PH of our water is brought to 5.5 for our tomatoes. It’s a little on the acidic side. It depends what you are growing. I recommend googling to ask what the ph needs to be for what you are growing. Our city water is around 4.  

Hydroponics saves water! In some cases, hydroponics uses about 10%-20% of the water that conventional gardening uses. The medias that are used retain water better. In the aeroponic systems, the water and nutrients are recycled. Be cautious when growing monster tomato plants! When the heat of spring and summer hit, a lot of water is lost through the leaves. This is called transpiration. Do not let the hydroponic plants go dry! They can grow quicker because the nutrients are brought to them, but if they aren’t given water, they will wilt quicker than your conventional garden.  

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We may be releasing over 3,000 ladybugs Saturday evening out at the garden. We ordered them online and they ought to be here by then. Stay up to date on our fanpage: www.facebook.com/GrayMockingbirdor go to our website: www.GrayMockingbird.com 

 

This Sunday is also the $5 All You Can Eat Breakfast hosted by the Gulfstream Lodge at the Scottish Rite, Home of the Gray Mockingbird Community Garden. 8am-11am. Eat and take a stroll through the garden. You may see a ladybug or two. J 

Support those who support Gray Mockingbird!  

Eat at South Shore Restaurant and Clary’s. Buy produce at Don Victoria’s.  

Volunteers are always welcome.