OL 301 Assignment Six Discussion

Online Learning: OL 301
Learn How to Grow a Family Vegetable Garden
Center for Sustainable Development:

How You Can Grow a Vegetable Garden: Fresh, nutritious vegetables for your family.

This week’s resources on the Student Resource Page:
OL 301 Assignment Six Homework Instructions
OL 301 Assignment Six Discussion

Discussion 6. Learning how to gauge sun and water.

This Week’s Goal: To get a sense of how frequently you need to water.

Hot, direct sun for a full day can be hard on plants. Soil dries out, plants wilt.

This week we’re going to break this discussion up into two different sections. 1) watering seed trays with young seedlings. 2) watering more mature plants in planting beds.

1. Watering seed trays with young seedlings.
Typically when I plant seeds in seed trays I start them in a partially enclosed space that has mixed sun and shade. When they’re getting closer to the age of planting in a container I will take them out into the garden and let them begin to acclimate.

But, my suggestion to you is to ease your seedlings into the sun as they’re growing.

I use a handheld watering can with a gentle spray to water my seed trays every day.

I also place my seed trays in a rimmed oven pan. I can fill it with water so the seed trays can pull water up from the bottom as well. This way the seedlings never dry out.

I can also mix a little chicken manure into that water to give the seedlings an extra boost of nutrients.

You can see this in the photo on the right.

In Summary.
Watch your seed trays very carefully. Make sure that they stay moist. Place them in partial sun depending upon your local situation.

2. Watering beds with more mature plants.
I haven’t observed that beds with more mature plants aren’t as sensitive as seedlings in seed trays.

Sometimes when I transfer the seed trays out into the garden I will provide a little shade for a week or so. My hack: a chair works very well for this. Placed over a seed tray it can provide shade during the heat of the day.

But once the plants have acclimated they have full sun. They seem to do fine. Some times of the year I only need to water every other day. As we are in full summer right now I need to water every day.

You will need to experiment with this based upon your local conditions. Some plants—such as lettuces and other cool weather plants—will benefit from partial shade.

Other plants—such as chili peppers— will benefit from full sun.

Take your time and enjoy the learning process!

In summary, here are several ideas:
1. In your first year of growing vegetables, watch, listen and observe. Through this process you will learn about sun, shade, and water.
2. Shade can be developed from a permanent structure like an overhead lattice. An overhead lattice can also be fun to sit under when it’s hot!
3. Shade can also be developed from temporary, movable things like umbrellas and chairs.

Copyright © Tim Magee