Transplant Prep Sessions Fri, Wed 5:30-6:30pm

13 May

The pollinators, like this big ol’ bumble bee, are out — and your plants should be too!

Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and other fruit-bearing plants that are started from seed indoors need to acclimate to outdoor weather prior to transplant. The hardening off process takes a little over 10 days, as time outside gradually increases from a couple hours to a full day. I started this weekend, and my chocolate cherry tomatoes spent 11 hours outside today! At this rate, they should be ready for transplant next week.

Flowers need to harden off, too — but don’t require as much time as fruit-bearing plants.

Have questions about how to prep the seedlings you started in March?

Stop by the garden tomorrow, Friday 5/14 between 5:30 and 6:30pm, to learn about hardening off plants and daily garden tasks.

(We will be there for an hour, but it should only take you 10 minutes.)

Plus, we want to see your seedlings! Jane, Denise and Maura have sturdy tomatoes, Sandy has eggplant and squash, while Charlie, Teddy, and Jessie have impressive-looking peppers! Seems like most of the workshop participants have had success — pls keep up the great work and get your guys outside.

We’ll be out in the garden this Friday evening and Wednesday May 19th. Catch us while you can!

  • Friday May 14th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 19th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Whether or Not You Have Seedlings, the Garden Needs YOU!

Want to dive into garden care? We’ve started doing regular garden duties two times a day, and we need volunteers to spend 10 minutes in the garden each morning or evening. Thanks to those who have committed to weekly spots through June. Morning tasks include some kid-friendly, light watering work, but there are only a couple morning slots open.

Find more details about duties and the volunteer schedule here.

Seedling Prep Session Wednesday 5:30pm

11 May

Seed starters: The process of hardening off your seedlings should be underway.

Before we move seedlings from our window sills into the ground, we have to harden them off. The process takes about 10 days. If you started seedlings for the first time at the March workshop, you will want to learn how to get them acclimated to the outdoor conditions ASAP.

Join us!

We’ll be out in the garden Wednesday and Friday evenings this week and can explain more about hardening off seedlings.

  • Wednesday, May 12th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Friday May 14th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Volunteers for Daily Garden Care Needed

Want to learn more about morning and evening garden care duties? We need volunteers to spend 10 minutes in the garden each morning or evening. We’ll be looking for people to commit to, say, Tuesday mornings, during the end of May and full month of June. Morning tasks will include some kid-friendly, light watering work. Schedules are posted and sign up is open. Find the info here, pls. Thank you.

2021 Daily Garden Tasks – Sign up now for May and June.

AM Garden care tasks: Before 10:15am This shift will include some watering duties and inspections for plant pests and disease.

Evening (PM) garden care duties (after 5:30 but before 7:30pm) This shift calls for treating disease or plants affected by insects with sprays such as diluted neem oil or soapy water mix.

To learn more, click here.

It’s Time to Sign Up for Garden Care Duty!

10 May

We need volunteers to take a regular morning or evening shift. You’re committing to the shift on a weekly basis, such as Friday evenings or Tuesday mornings, through June 30th.

Read on for more details.

Sign Up for May/June Garden Duties!

We’re looking for individuals and families to sign up for weekly spots mid-May through June 30th.

Ideally, each volunteer will take a regular morning or evening 1-2 times per week, such as Tuesday mornings.  (It is fine to swap/ask others to cover your time, but by signing up for a slot you are commit to arrange for a trained volunteer to execute garden duties on that shift through the end of June.)

Here is the schedule. To volunteer, write your name and cellphone number (for text group) next to the shift.

Here is the description of morning and evening tasks.  We will post a laminated checklist in the garden. 

Watering Tasks Take Place in the Morning

Important: All watering will be done in the mornings only, as watering later in the day leads to humid conditions that increase risk of fungus and other problems we experienced last year. If your child(ren) want to water, please sign up for a morning slot. (If they’re all filled, send a request to cvearthlab@gmail.com with your preferred mornings. There are other weekly tasks you can take on, but these do not include watering the plants. More opportunities will be available when we schedule July and August shifts.)

CVEarthlab is an organic garden that manages pests and disease via swift intervention rather than pesticides. Communication and fast action is key for upkeep. Urgent feedback (about rodent digging or broken irrigation hoses) should be shared with the volunteer group via WhatsApp, a group texting app, ASAP.  Ideally, you will send a photo of the urgent problem when you report this way. (We will share information on how to use the simple app, including how to turn off notifications.)

Routine, non-urgent feedback can be shared via this virtual garden diary.

Thank you!

Seedling Care Session: Monday 5:30pm

9 May

Are you plants ready for transplant?

Before we move the pepper and tomato seedlings from our window sills into the ground, we have to harden them off. It’s time to get started — the process takes 7-10 days. If you started seedlings for the first time at the March workshop, you will want to learn how to get them acclimated to the outdoor conditions.

Join us!

We’ll be out in the garden Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week.

  • Monday, May 10th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 12th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Friday May 14th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Garden guru Sandy heads out for the summer next week, catch her now!

Volunteers for Daily Garden Care Needed

Want to learn more about morning and evening garden care duties? We’re building a schedule and will need volunteers to spend 10 minutes in the garden each morning or evening. We’ll be looking for people to commit to, say, Tuesday mornings, during the end of May and full month of June. Morning tasks will include some kid-friendly, light watering work.

Scroll down to get an idea of the tasks volunteers would be responsible for…Stay tuned for sign ups! Thank you.

2021 Daily Garden Tasks 

AM Garden care tasks: Before 10:15am

  1. Check irrigation system. Does everything appear to be working? The timer dial should be set to AUTO and the correct time should be displayed. Are there signs of hose leaks or other problems? Bone dry soil?  If yes, send a note to cvearthlab@gmail.com – please note day, time, bed number; a photo is helpful if you have one.

2. Using the water wand to wet soil (not leaves) water items that are NOT on the irrigation system. These include

  • strawberry towers (water each level)
  • hanging flower baskets
  • row of pots near shed, row of tomato pots on opposite side of garden, near entrance gate
  • 6-7 window boxes Check each box to see if it needs water: Stick your finger in the soil to see if it’s wet 3  inches down. If it’s very damp, you can skip watering.  If it’s not, water deeply.

3. Look for signs of rodent digging in and around beds and the shed. If you find signs of a new burrow (usually a pile of displaced soil that the animals remove to make tunnels) pls take a photo; alert Denise and Shari via text or WhatsApp ASAP.

4. Check plants for signs of disease or insect damage. (We will share images and descriptions) Take a photo, share with group via texting app (WhatsApp)

5. Check for other problems/general signs of damage: broken trellis from wind, etc. If yes, send a note to cvearthlab@gmail.com – please note day, time, area affected, photo is helpful if you have one.

6. Log visit in virtual garden journal: Via your phone or home computer, note the conditions, non-urgent observations such as “very windy, lots of branches on the ground from wind storm, noticed new blooms/flowers on ground cherry plants, saw stray cat inside play area  or ‘nothing out of the ordinary”

Evening duties (after 5:30 but before 7:30pm)

  1. Treat disease or affected plants with neem oil spray or soapy water spray bottle stored in shed. (The need for treatments will vary depending on the disease or insects that we’re dealing with)
  2. Before you leave, use the MIST setting on the hose to lightly spray the cedar chips on the ground.  This activates a cedar smell which helps deter nocturnal rodents. 
  3. Apply cedar oil to all vertical surfaces in the garden.  We will do this every other evening, or after there’s rain.   First, get the cedar oil jug from the storage area (next to 195 backdoor). You may need to refill the container with cedar oil concentrate and water.  Screw on top, and pump only one or two times.  Next, squeeze the applicator as you spray to cover the sides and top edge of every bed.  In addition, spray the border fence (everywhere on inside, and on the outside by the entrance gate) plus along the base of the large fence near gate, and inside the large fence in the section that is inside the garden.  Spray also:  All sides of shed, 3 feet high. The rationale? Rodents navigate by scent, not sight, so we spray cedar oil along surfaces they may use to find their way to the garden. The strong cedar scent confuses them and makes it difficult to find the garden. 
  4. Log visit in virtual garden journal, note the conditions, and any non-urgent observations made during the visit.

Seedling Care Session This Sat, 10:15 am

7 May

Before we transplant the tomato seedlings from our window sills into the ground, we have to harden them off. It takes a week to ten days to prepare the young plants to live outdoors.

Learn how to get your plants ready at a follow up session for the March workshop.

Join us!

We’ll be out in the garden Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday

  • Saturday, May 8th, 10:15am to 10:45am
  • Monday, May 10th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 12th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

(Rain date: Friday, May 14th @5:30pm)

You can also learn more about morning and evening garden care duties. We’re building a schedule and will need volunteers to spend 10 minutes in the garden each morning or evening. We’ll be looking for people to commit to, say, Tuesday mornings, during the end of May and full month of June. Morning tasks will include kid-friendly, light watering work. Stay tuned for more specifics! Thank you.

Get Seedlings Ready for Transplant!

6 May

Seed-starters around CV are wondering, when will we transplant our seedlings?

Soon! But first, we need to begin to harden them off and slowly get the baby plants accustomed to the outdoor conditions. This takes a while — 7 to 10 days for tomatoes.

Learn how to harden off tomatoes, prep flowers for transplant, and get questions answered at these sessions:

  • Saturday, May 8th, 10:15am to 10:45am
  • Monday, May 10th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 12th, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

(Rain date: Friday, May 14th @5:30pm)

Join us!

Bring your seedlings, and your questions! You can also learn how to do morning and evening garden care duties. (Soon we will build a weekly volunteer schedule for rest of May and all of June. Consider if there is a regular morning or evening that you can commit to 10 minutes of simple garden work)

And the baby arugula looks ready to harvest!

RSVPs to CVEarthlab@gmail.com will be appreciated!

No Seedling-Care Session This Eve (Wed May 5)

5 May

It’s too wet to hold a follow up session from the Seed-Starting Workshop. Join us next week, Wed May 12, from 5:30 to 6:30pm in the garden to talk about transitioning your seedling from self-irrigated planter to the garden.

Urgent seedling question? Send it to cvearthlab@gmail.com Generally, it is too soon to transplant anything started at the workshop but if you are eager you can prepare the baby for hardening off by putting it near an open window for a couple of hours a day. This will help the plant prepare for its transition outside to live among the elements.

Learn more about hardening off tomatoes and other plants here:

Preparing Tomato Plants for Transplanting

We may transplant flowers or do other garden work Saturday morning. Stay tuned, and pls plan to join us on Wed May 12th at 5:30pm. Thank you.

Wed May 5, First Garden Wednesday In May 2021

4 May

Calling all seed-starters!

If you joined our March workshop to start seedlings, you may have questions! Bring them down to the garden @530pm on a Wednesday evening this month.

Wednesday Evenings in May

Gardeners will converge to discuss care for the seedlings started at March workshop, harden off tomatoes, and transplant. Bring your questions and seedlings to the garden this Wed May 5th. We’ll be out 5:30pm to 6:30pm.

Also in May: Opportunities to harvest various lettuces.

Join us!

RSVPs to CVEarthlab@gmail.com will be appreciated!

Herb Fundraiser Pickup, Planting Events This Weekend

2 May

Saturday was busy in the garden, as plant sale customers picked up herbs and kids transplanted flowers. Today, Sunday, is the last opportunity to pick up unclaimed orders (we dont have room to hold them). We will hold a flower transplanting session around 330/4pm pending interest. RSVP to cvearthlab@gmail.com or post a comment here. Thank you!

Flower Planting!

30 Apr

Jamie waters the salvia and African marigolds that his sister planted. Join us in the garden Saturday (May 1) 11 to 11:30am for more flower fun!

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