This Season in the Garden

AEW classes learned how to observe and aquaponics in the October garden. 


We had a fun little visitor visit the garden this month. 

Congratulations to our wonderful counselor, Mrs. Anna Diaz, on her wedding! Flower crown made from our pollinator garden flowers. 

Spring Successes

A huge thank you to our garden volunteer and her family for spending their Saturday getting  garden soil from Peach Hill Soils! Peach Hill Soils kindly donated soil to the garden and will give our LVUSD families a discount on soil. 

Artichokes were a big success in the garden this spring. They love the 10b zone climate and aren't bothered by the squirrels, grasshoppers and bunnies that enjoy munching on our more delicate veggies. 

Our blackberry, Kadota figs, and raspberries are thriving along the fences. 

Kabocha squash was a special request from our friend Valerie. The vines and pumpkins should be thriving by the time we get back to school.

The sweet peas are a blast to my past and balm to my heart. They couldn't be more lovely this year. 

We will definitely plant more Sugar Snap peas next year. They tasted like candy!

The edible violas just keep going and going. Not only are they pretty, you can add them to salads, drinks, and deserts. 

Our herbs are loving the garden. The oregano, thyme, lavendar, sage, lemon balm, borage, dill, cilantro, and parsley are very happy. 

We planted a Misty and Sunshine blueberry in a pot under the trees, so far so good.

The strawberries have taken over an entire bed. We're starting to pot the runners for under the fruit trees. 

The onions and kale are all thriving. 

Some plants weren't as successful... mostly because we have so many hungry critters in the garden. Hopefully an owl family will use our new owl box and help us out. Spinach, Bibb lettuce,  carrots, and lettuces were great until the squirrels found them. We will have to cover them with a hoop cover when we grow them next year. 


We're giving our fruit trees some Valentine love this month. We're planting "guilds" around the trees. Guilds are plants that restore nitrogen, bring in good bugs, repel pests, and aerate the soil. They help build a mini ecosystem around the trees to make them happy and healthier. Some guild plants that we've planted are beans, daffodils, lavendar, borage, chives, oregano, and artichokes. 


It's been a wet and frosty January. Yay! rain ! Lucky for us, we received a greenhouse to help with our delicate plant starts and microgreens. The Green Team planted some microgreens to experiment with. Did you know that they have 9 times the nutrients of regular greens? 

Spinach, Bibb and Butter lettuce, arugula, green onions, peas, sweet peas, dill, cilantro, and kale are all doing well. Such tough little plants to thrive in the wind, rain and frost!


We're playing with microgreens to grow along with veggie and flower starts in the new greenhouse. They're very healthy for you. Here's a link to an interesting article on microgreens.  

The Bibb lettuce, spinach, and sweet peas are doing really well. The frost doesn't seem to bother them, and we've had a hard frost in the garden.

Brrrr! and rain!! So wonderful to see some rain on our dry S. CA gardens! The plants love rain, I don't know if it's a lack of chlorine, but they thrive with rain. 

We've planted starts of artichokes, asparagus, strawberries, figs, and blackberries this month. We've seeded arugula, spinach, Bibb lettuce, and sweet peas. 

The gophers, bunnies, and birds have found our garden. We're experimenting with row covers, baking soda and cornbread, and wire baskets to deter them. 

We're still working on cleanup from the frost, wind, and rain. The tomatoes look awful, but they're still giving us juicy red fruit, so they'll stay a while longer. 

The AEW Green Team is taking cuttings to make plants to sell to fund the garden. 

We're very excited to add a small greenhouse and an owl box to protect our seedlings from pests and frost. 

Here's an easy December decoration to make from your garden. 

Cut oranges in 1/4" thick slices. Dry them in a 250 degree oven for 2-3 hours. Flip them every half hour while baking. String with twine and add berries, holly, or tree bits. These make great garlands, gift decorations, and wreaths. 

The garden and I were feeling the winter gloomies until we saw Ms Dickson's wonderful surprises. Have a beautiful day!


One of our AEW students, Dre, photographed the pretty fall light in the garden. 

We have lots of cleanup to do from the frost and the wind! Fall/Winter crops are going in this week. 

October 17-21

The pests have found the the garden Halloween treats!  Feel free to remove green, icky tomato hornworms from the tomatoes. You can also donate Dollar Store metal mesh wastebaskets to keep the bigger munchers off the babies. 

October 10-14 

The ollas really work! We have an area with no automated irrigation, we have to hand water when we're in the garden. The side with an olla is doing much better than the side without. Those ancient Native Americans really knew what they were doing!

There's a Jolly Rancher for anyone who can find the Tomato Hornworm on our tomato plant. I know he's there because I see his poop calling card. Do you think I can find him? Nope. Keep your eyes open. You'll know what tomato plant he hangs out on by all the tiny poop below it. You can also find them at night with a black light, they glow. Really!

The zinnias are still going strong, they are a garden favorite. The squash is done. We need to be even more careful not to water the leaves next year as it gives them mildew. 

Thai organic basil, from direct sewn seed was a major success this year. Oddly enough, purple basil from a purchased start is barely surviving. 

There is a new butterfly and moth chart inside the garden shed. Ask to check it out when you see a butterfly guest. 

LVIS students planted some cabbage a couple of weeks ago. They are big enough to be transplanted in the beds. 

October 3-7th

Here's a link to the sweet little butterflies that love our zinnia flowers. I think they are Rural Skippers. Ms. Kimmel's students and I were trying to figure out what kind they were during their garden observation lesson.,-118.6615%20(Calabasas)/lep/Ochlodes-Agricola-(Rural-Skipper)?srchcr=sc633768ed5b696   Anyone know of a great resource for CA moths and butterflies?  

I love that we had four classes using the garden on Friday!

We got our amazing tables in the garden over the weekend!! Shade and tables, how lucky are we? 

Week of Sept 26- 30

We added some ollas this week. Ollas are an ancient Native American watering system. They are very efficient and use little water. They are made with buried unglazed clay pots with a lid on the top. Once filled with water they feed the plants very slowly with soil moisture tension. 

Classes are coming to the garden this week. LVIS is planting herbs, red clover cover crops, weeding, and building a composter.

Our cool season kale germinated in only four days. It must be excited to feed the bunnies and birds. 

Our hummingbirds are looking for someone to cook them some more juice. They ate it all!

Week of Sept 19-23  

We are celebrating Autumn by planting seeds of native milkweed for the monarchs, red clover to replenish the soil, nasturtium, johnny jump ups, borage and yarrow for the bees, buttercrunch lettuce, Bloomsdale spinach, kale, snapdragons, and onion sets, dill, and cilantro. 

The AEW classes are starting to visit and explore the garden. We still have lots of spaghetti squash, zucchini, basil, and tomatoes to share. One class was there for observation skills class. 

Our pumpkins are spooky big. Please leave them for the students to enjoy. 

Does anyone have a glass-fronted cabinet that would work for a little free library/ garden goodness and other foods/ seed exchange?


Yummy hall from the garden today. Anyone have any good spaghetti squash recipes? We sure have spaghetti squash!


Today's big news! The Red Wiggler composting worms have arrived in their garden home. You can find,  feed and stir them under the garden gnomes. 

So happy to report that the garden is now home to many beneficial insects, bunnies, snakes, birds, and hummingbirds. 


Picked several spaghetti squash, zucchini, tomato, and a handful of basil.  


The LVIS student planted pumpkins, squash, and zucchini are magnificent!

Planted two climber iceberg roses and 2 tomatoes on the arch.

To plant in the end of Aug/ Sept:



onion starts


leek seeds

nasturtium seeds




celery cuts from home (fun project with students)

green beans

Summer super successes:

pumpkins- prolific with succession planting

squash (measure these monsters with your students!) spaghetti and summer squash were the big hits. 

zucchini- prolific with succession planting 

(Dark Green Zucchini Raven)

peaches- delicious!  Mid Pride Peach

strawberries- delicious!

Thai organic basil

Zinnias just keep going.