Calvert – Planting for Summer

Hello Garden Friends,

It is a sad, sad, day watching the kindergarteners line up and leave for the last time. With a final group hug the children left for summer. Alas, I am left to tend the garden and care for their seeds – preparing the garden so that when they return the promises of pumpkins and ears of corn will be fulfilled.

On our last day together we planted some seedlings and drew pictures of plants on the pavement. Our seedlings were bound up tight, the roots swirling in a circle. Held in their plastic containers for a little too long, the roots needed to be “tickled” as to encourage those bound up roots to stretch out into the soil. Once loosened and open to vastness of their new raised bed, they will grow into big tomatoes, peppers, and fresh bouquets of oregano and mint. The ingredients for a future lesson on salsa making perhaps?

Either way, the plants made it safely into their new home – the children now taking handfuls of chalk to the blacktop – using their imaginations to create images of their seedlings transformation. During summer, though the images will fade the vegetables themselves will take their place.

Until then!


Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes is a garden designer and environmental educator working out of Woodland Hills, CA. A Los Angeles County Master Gardener and UC Davis Alumni, Jeff earned his B.S. in Environmental Resource Science in 2012 and has been growing edibles and natives for the past 6 years.

Jeff’s passion for plants and garden education has led him to school gardens from Los Angeles to Sacramento and all the way up to Portland, Oregon. Now familiar with ecosystems across the West Coast, Jeff has settled back home and works to bring people together over food and inspire the next generation of earth stewards to leave it better than they found it. When not writing about himself in the third person, Jeff enjoys singing with his guitar, going on camping and hiking excursions, and tossing a frisbee around with his friends.