Meanwhile, in the garden: January Update

springplanting

The new year is here! The Campus Community Garden had a very successful 2016. We donated a total of 578 pounds worth of organic produce. Our most abundant crops were eggplants, cucumbers and collards! Collards are a cool weather plant, but cucumbers and eggplants are perfect for the upcoming months. If you are planning on starting your very own vegetable garden or are looking at new plants for your existing garden, January is the perfect time to start. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks of what you should plant during the Spring and Summer of 2017.

Soil

Having the right soil is an important step in ensuring that your garden yields as much produce as possible. Houston soil is not the best to plant vegetables in, which is why we recommend purchasing sandy loam.  This type of soil contains vital nutrients and does not retain as much water as clay. After your plants sprout, make sure to add 1 inch of mulch to your garden’s surface to insulate your soil from extreme temperatures.

Plants

Tomatoes

  • Tomato plants can be bought in almost any gardening store. Make sure to plant them outside between mid-February to late March.
  • Space out plants 3-4 feet apart and place a tomato cage around each plant.
  • Add fertilizer, such as MicroLife, when you transplant to your garden.
  • Do not plant tomatoes next to cucumbers. Because both plants attract pests, separating them will reduce the risk of losing both plants to the same pest.

Cucumbers

  • We recommend the Suyo Long variety for our climate.
  • Plant seeds every 6 weeks starting in March and ending in June.
  • Make sure the seeds are 12 inches apart and are close to a trellis so the vine can grow upward.
  • Make sure to fertilize! Fertilize once when you first plant your seeds and once a month after your plant starts to grow. MicroLife is an excellent organic fertilizer that will help keep your plants well-nourished.
  • Water regularly. Daily watering will ensure that your cucumbers grow.
  • Pick your cucumbers before they turn yellow – your cucumbers will be ready to harvest when they are roughly 10 inches in length.

Eggplant

  • Plant seeds indoors in January (right now!) and plant outside from mid-April to May.
  • Water regularly when planting fruits.
  • Harvest eggplants before their color fades.

Basil (all types)

  • Plant seeds from April to June.
  • Make sure the plants are not touching and are kept 2 feet apart.
  • Keep basil in full sun(light?)
  • Break off flower stalks as they appear. They will diminish the flavor of the herb.

lettucs

 

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