Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our First Harvest and Thinning the Radishes

First harvest--One beautiful red radish! (Saturday, June 22). It's easy to know when to pick them since the red parts poke out of the ground and stand out so well among the green leaves. :)

Second harvest (Wednesday June 26). Today I harvested some radishes and thinned out our radish patch. Thinning means pulling out a few of the plants that are too close to each other, and it helps the plants and vegetables that stay in the ground to grow stronger and bigger. When Miss Jerri the librarian saw this picture, she said, "I've seen the harvest and I choose the bottoms!" Although in this picture the radishes happen to be at the top of the picture, the yummy parts grow underground. Have you seen the giant radish at the Library? Stop by to see it, and while you're there, pick up the book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens so you can understand Miss Jerri's comment. :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tiny Cucumbers!

Our cucumber plant is blooming: and there are tiny cucumbers at the ends of the blossoms! Cucumbers often grown quickly; when do you think they will be ready to harvest?

The Story of the Milkweed

This is a recent picture of a healthy milkweed plant. Many gardeners in the Ames Community Garden allow milkweed to grow in their plots because it's a very special plant. It's the only plant that monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on! To learn more, check out the book Monarch and Milkweed from the library.   

We had a milkweed plant in the Library's section of the garden, too, and we were pretty excited about it. Unfortunately, part of the reality of gardening is that we share the area with animals (not just butterflies), and some animals are not garden-friendly. See how cracked the dirt is in this photo? That's because a mole tunneled under it. They like to eat the grubs in the ground. The tunneling only killed one of our plants--check the next photo to see which one.
See the brown leaves? That is the remains of our milkweed plant. No butterfly eggs for us this year! Oh well, that's how the garden grows!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ready to grow!

Our garden is ready to grow! We walk on the paths that are covered with wood mulch to keep the seeds and plants safe. It looks like there is a lot of dirt now, but check back in a few weeks and hopefully the plants will be much bigger!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Welcome to the Ames Public Library garden!

Hi everyone! Ames Public Library Youth Services Staff and Smyles the Library Dog welcome you to our blog about our library garden. The theme this year for our summer reading program is Dig Into Reading!, so it was only natural to have a library garden this summer.

Here you can see Smyles getting ready to plant a kohlrabi. Next up was a batch of chives that you can see in the background. You can eat chives like green onions--they have a mild onion taste. They are super easy to grow and often come back year after year.

We'll be posting updates throughout the summer about the progress of our garden's fruits and vegetables. We also have programs that take place right in our garden, so if you want the chance to get dirty and do some digging, join us!