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Suddenly I Seed!

Check out what our 2015 University of Illinois Extension Interns are doing this summer!
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Museum of Science and Industry Smart Home Garden: Tomato Day

Posted by Ron Wolford -

As we wind down our summer as interns, gardeners are just getting ready for the busier part of the summer. Tuesday we went to the Museum of Science and Industry for the last time and were able to assist in pruning beds of tomatoes and seeing the progress the garden has made since the beginning of the summer.

The growth this garden has seen in one summer is incredible to outsiders like the two of us. Where seeds were planted in May and June, now round vegetables wait to be harvested. Leafy greens fill Smart Pots to the brim, and the big job to finish for the summer is now maintenance and harvest. The pictures we've included illustrate how the space has changed since the first time we visited, emphasized in the hay bales, cucumber plots, and tomato cages.

We were able to talk to Master Gardeners more today as we pruned tomato plants. They explained the importance of giving the plants room for air circulation, so we cut branches that were close to the soil level, creating a tree shape within the bed. We could see several blooming flowers that would eventually be fruit, and we staked more branches than we knew what to do with. The process itself is a little addictive, but therapeutic at the same time. We enjoyed being able to talk with Master Gardeners about tomato, insects, family life, and new movies. The Smart Home Garden is as fruitful as it is because of Master Gardeners and their passion for this space. We can't thank the museum or the program enough for their hospitality and willingness to teach us something new this summer, and we await the opening of the new exhibit so we can see the space again!

Shelby & Ilana

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