Monday, January 25, 2010

Gardening in the rain

by Joti Levy, Willie Brown Academy Garden Educator

The rain is a magical element that brings both blessings and challenges to a garden.

As I forged through traffic with my windshield wipers on full force and downed caffeine into myself, I could not help but be thankful for the overflowing water that was filling the reservoirs, nourishing the soil and bringing so many new mushrooms and vegetables to life.

I also thought anxiously of my new starts lying in their raised beds. Would my romanesco broccoli with their beautiful fractals just starting to bud make it?

I arrived at the garden, and to my delight found that the plants were not yet flooded. Some beds were holding puddles of water next to their plants. I asked the students of my fifth grade class what to do.

They told me all the things I had thought of, but I loved hearing their creative minds moving.

“Put a tarp on top”, one student said.

That could lead to a lack of evaporation and hurt the plants.

How about canopies or a hole in the raised bed?

Now I am putting on my galoshes, rain pants and rain coat, covering my tool shed to prevent more moisture from seeping in, and heading out to use my students wisdom so that my romanesco broccoli can live out its term. I can’t wait to learn math with the fractals that come out of those broccoli as we make a yummy dish in the not so distant future!!

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