Garden Work

There are a few tasks that need to be completed in the garden almost every day in order to keep the plants alive and healthy. These are jobs such as watering and weeding. These tasks can become very repetitive, though necessary in order to maintain the garden.

Watering:

When we first started working in the garden, we used to refill watering cans until all the beds were wet. A few weeks later, we got two hoses, which when joined together were long enough to reach from a faucet on the side of the Franklin Institute to the garden. We have to hold the hose and move it around the plants when the water is running, making sure the hose does not drag through the beds and crush the plants, or flood the beds and wash away the soil. We used to hold only hold the hose to the roots of each plant until there was a puddle and move on, though now we also wet the entire bed because it chases away some of the harmful bugs. While wetting the leaves can cause them to burn in the sun, we sometimes use the hose to spray away earwigs on the milkweed leaves. The plants need to be watered every day in the summer where we are, unless it rains.

Weeding:

This does not have to be done every day if you pull up unwanted plants whenever you see them. As your plants get bigger, they may overshadow the soil, causing fewer weeds to grow. If the weeds are only a few millimeters big, and hard to grasp, you can wait until they are larger to pull them up. However, try to not let them grow too long.

While weeding and watering, we look for signs of damage from things other than ozone. Sometimes there are bugs eating the plants that need to be chased away or something that needs to be washed off the leaves.

Additional Work:

Once the weeding and watering are done, we check for any ripe food. If you leave tomatoes on the plant too long after turning red, the animals eat them first. We also collect data on the amount of ozone damage once a week for each type of plant.

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