MOVErs and Plant Pruning
What a week we have had in the garden. On Sunday we had a group of volunteers come down to the garden that were with MOVE's "Community Service Orientation Weekend." The group was made up of 12 first-year students, 4 student leaders, and the directors of the MOVE program, Erin Collins and Heidi St. Peter. Erika, Heather, and I welcomed these visitors with open arms because our garden was in need of helping hands. Much like the week before, we have seen an abundance of overgrowth in our beds and walkways. Thanks to MOVE's wonderful budding first-years, the weeds were uprooted and our garden is looking a lot healthier. The work that the group did would have taken Erika and I days upon days to do, so thank you to MOVE for all of the extra help.
For the rest of the week, Erika and I continued our efforts ridding the garden of weeds. We also put down kelp meal, bone meal, and organic tomato fertilizer throughout our plants, enriching the soil with minerals to help give the plants extra nutrients aiding the growing process.
Apart from weeding and fertilizing, Erika's brother Jesse helped us find the pleasure in suckering our tomato plants. A tomato plant has a few main parts to it. Their is the main stem, branches, and suckers. The suckers are the branches that develop in the area where the main branches meet the stem of the plant. These suckers can produce flowers and fruits, but they tend to be smaller in size because of where they develop. By removing the suckers, more energy is put back into producing the fruits that will develop on main branches of the plant which will be larger in size. By pruning these suckers, Erika, Jesse, and I found ourselves surrounded by the scent of tomatoes with green fingers and thumbs from picking at the plants. With some of the tomato plants already producing little green tomatoes, we believe that our pruning will help them grow even bigger and better.
Next week, we expect to see more growth in our vegetables. Our hot peppers are pickable, and our chard is nearing a harvestable size. Tune in next week for more news on what's going on in the garden.