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Winter in the Garden Lab

Winter 2020

The floating row covers were used over the fig tree and three raised beds this year. 

 floating row covers   End of winter crops

Due ot a mild winter, we have been successfully protecting our crops and harvested lettuce, carrots, garlic, turnips and radishes all winter.  We still have turnips growing.  In the cold frame, we have harvested and eaten the carrots.  Students and teachers were able to enjoy the garden lab year round with winter harvests, poetry development, music creations, and leasurily lunches under the pergola.

Winter 2018 and 2019

The floating row covers have been successfully protecting our crops during multiple severe freezes and remain covered despite heavy winds.

Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. Reles’ Kindergarten classes are experimenting with hydroponic planting in a planting tower.  Hydroponic planting means to plant without the use of soil.  Our kindergarteners are using coco peat as a planting medium.  Up the center of the tower is a pipe that is connected to a base with water that has liquid plant food.  A pump pushes the water up the pipe that is attached to a sprinkler system at the top of the tower.  The plants are given these liquid nutrients once a day.  A winter crop of lettuce is on the way!

Our hydrophonic towers are from Mr. Stacky at*.  Thank you to the LCPS Nutrition Department for our hydroponic towers!

Cunningham and Reles Hydroponic Planter   hydroponic planting   hydroponic journal entry   hydroponic tower planting  

 WINTER 2017
The tiered strawberry bed and trellis installation was completed at the beginning of March due to the dedication and hard work put in by the Loudoun High School NJROTC cadets.  The cadets topped off the raised beds with new soil in preparation for spring planting.  The garden lab is ready for Spring!
 NJROTC working in lab   Filling raised beds   curve right saw   Pop and cadets install tiered raised bed   fig tree insulation   tiered raised bed and trellis
The new pad behind the shed was constructed mid-Febrary in order to stabalize the compost tumbler.  Now that we have solved the problem with the stability of the compost tumbler we can order another compost tumbler and start our compost program in the near future.  Thank you to Giovanni, owner of Set in Stone, for coming in with his crew over the weekend to complete the project.
 Pad for compost tumbler   Pad for compost tumbler 2
 We started preparation for the new tiered strawberry bed and trellis for the apple espalier tree.  Thank you to Pop, Mr. Cunningham, Jimmy, Bobby, and Jim Phillips for helping on Superbowl Sunday.
 Strawberry bed construction team
 WINTER 2016
Seed harvest was completed as winter drew closer.  Students were able to harvest cotton seeds, butterfly weed seeds, sunflower seeds, and milkweed seeds.  Kindergarten students have made cuttings of the rosemary and lavender.  The cuttings have been propagated in order to grow new plants in the classroom over the winter.
cotton center  
 Kindergarten students harvest cotton seeds and use cotton to create snow owls.
 Winter Observations are an important part of nature journal writing and keeping track of what is happening in the garden lab during the next season.  Many people believe that there is not much going on in a garden during the winter, but our students and staff will tell you that it is far from the truth.  Our students noticed that Pop has carefully insulated the fig tree with straw to prepare for freezing temperatures.  One first grader thought the fig tree looked like it had a skirt on.  Students notice the changes in plants with the recent freeze and write down their observations.
winter sunflower  winter garden observations  Winter journal entry