- GrowNYC Education
Teaching Garden Update 4/17
We have been keeping busy in the teaching garden, prepping beds and planting them out! Here are a few updates from this week.
To prep garden beds we first remove any cover crop or weeds from the bed. Cover crops are plants that can grow over the winter to add vital nutrients, like nitrogen, back into the soil. Here is some cover crop (Rye) that we grew over the winter.
This week we had to remove some Hairy Vetch (another cover crop) from a bed to be able to plant our spring crops. In doing so we discovered nitrogen nodules!
A bacteria called rhizobia which lives in the soil, colonizes in nodules on the roots of the vetch (this also happens with other legumes). The rhizobia captures nitrogen from the air and "fixes" it into the root system of the plant. This is one reason why we try to practice "no till" farming where instead of pulling plants and their roots out, we cut them right at the base. That way all this beneficial nitrogen stays in the soil for the next crop.
After the weeds and other plants are removed (or cut back), we add a ton of compost and potting soil. Then when the pile is tall enough we smooth it down to shape the bed and tamp it with a rake. Here is a beautifully tamped bed ready for planting!
In this bed we planted collard greens.
We are taking precautions to stay safe by wearing masks, staying 6 feet away from each other, and assigning tools so we do not have to share.
In addition to collard greens we planted...
Onions (and more Collard Greens)
Joi Choi (a variety of Pac Choi)
and we seeded more Peas
Stay tuned for more updates next week!