Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cantaloupes and Gourds

When I went to water the garden today, one of the cantaloupes was ready to pick (above top picture)! The pumpkin plants are growing even bigger. The birdhouse gourds are climbing to the top of the fence, and there are even more teeny tiny little gourds that are starting to grow (above bottom picture). Unfortunately, the tomatoes are a little past their prime. But the squash, okra and watermelon are still growing, so the garden is doing fine. Saturday will be the first day of July, and I've been thinking about school starting and all the things that we will be working on this year. Last year was the first year to use the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum, and we will be utilizing it even more this year. I've been working with some new software that we got at the end of the last school year, and I think that the kids will love it! Also, we have a workshop at the end of July, and I'm sure that we will get a lot of good ideas from it. More later!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Too Many Tomatoes!

When I went to water the garden and check on all of the animals in the room, there were too many tomatoes! I ended up with a bucket full of tomatoes (and one little squash). I really need to find all of the people who said that they wanted tomatoes before school let out for the summer! All of the pumpkins have sprouted, and I was surprised that the leaves of the little sprouts are indicative the size of the pumpkins that are planted there! The tiny pumpkin sprouts have little leaves and the leaves get bigger all the way up to the "prizewinner hybrid" pumpkins. The cantaloupes are getting bigger, and so are the watermelons. The birdhouse gourd plants are climbing up the fence, and they have some tiny little gourds starting to form where the flowers were. I hope that there are enough for every student to make a birdhouse to take home. Speaking of birds, they were very happy to see me with birdseed today. As soon as I put it in the feeder, they swooped down! I don't feed them every time I go during the summer, but I want to keep them interested in the feeder so that they will be there when school starts again.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Watermelons and More

This is a picture of one of the little watermelons. There are about five more just like this! I hope that at least one or two of these wait until school starts to ripen so that the kids can enjoy it! We started the watermelon plants from seeds in our classroom around April, then planted them outside in the garden in May. They are doing so well, the vines are creeping around the corner of the building. They may take over the playground!
The birdhouse gourds are doing well. There are flowers on the plants, and where there are flowers, there will be gourds! I would like to have enough that each child can make one to take home. We had more planted, but the school system people sprayed the fences with weed killer earlier in the summer and killed all but two of the gourds that we had planted on the fence.
I planted the pumpkin seeds earlier this week, and they have sprouted already! I really hope that they all grow and produce, so that the kids can see all of the different sizes and colors of pumpkins. They will be surprised when they come back to school in August that we have pumpkins growing already! Last year we planted them when school started in August, and they didn't have the necessary time to produce pumpkins for Halloween. We will definitely have pumpkins in time for Halloween this year!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Planting Pumpkins

I went to school today and everything had grown so much over the weekend! There were ripe tomatoes and a ripe pepper. The watermelon are growing around the corner, and there is a pretty big one in the back of the garden. There are two cantaloupes, and they are getting big also, but not changing color yet. The reason I went today (besides to feed the animals in the classroom) is that I wanted to get the pumpkin seeds in the ground. They need to be planted in June if you want them ripe in October, so we're cutting it close! I've been putting it off because the ground has been so dry and hard, but it really rained this weekend and I thought that if there is ever a right time to dig, it's now. I dug holes, added composted humus and manure, made little hills, then planted the seeds. I planted six different types of pumpkins, so the children can see that they are all pumpkins, but they are different also. I planted tiny pumpkins, small pie pumpkins, regular jack o'lantern sized pumpkins, prizewinner pumpkins, huge pumpkins and white pumpkins. I really hope that all of them sprout and grow. I kept seeds and the seed packets with the pictures of the pumpkins. We'll see what happens!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Summer Gardening 6-15-06

I went to school today, put mulch around the trees and harvested some tomatoes and squash. The watermelon are getting bigger every day! The cantaloupe are getting that cantaloupe texture. I think that the men who are putting in central air conditioning in the whole school are picking some of the tomatoes. That's fine with me, I don't want them to go to waste. I'm still hoping that some of this waits to ripen until the kids are back at school!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Summer Gardening

Well, even though it isn't offically summer yet, it's summer in Louisiana! School isn't in session, but I have to go to school two or three times per week to take care of the garden and the class pets that stayed at school this summer. We have three water turtles (red-eared sliders), a crawfish, a mud skipper, and an aquarium with fish, a newt and a dwarf frog. Everyone seems to be in fine shape. The garden is located between the brick building and the sidewalk approximately 3 feet wide and 36 feet long. This must be the best soil on this planet, because everything is flourishing! We have about 12 feet of flowers-some perinnials and some annuals, but all of them full sun lovers. The vegetable garden (approximately 24 feet) is overflowing with tomatoes. We also have a few ears of corn, about six or seven cute baby watermelons, a couple of cantaloupes, bell peppers, okra and a few strawberries. The trees in the orchard (peach, fig, pear, apple) are all fine. The purple martins are active, and I think that they are on their second brood of the season. I hope that at least some of the produce (the watermelon, especially) waits to ripen until the children come back from summer vacation (August 9th!). I'll go by the school tomorrow and pick the ripe fruit and vegetables, water the garden, and feed the pets. I wonder what will be ready to pick tomorrow?