Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Preparing for a Great Gardening Season at Devonshire Public School!

While it is still too early to plant certain vegetables outside, the students at Devonshire Public School knew there was still work to be done by planning out their school garden and getting their seeds started indoors. Growing Up Organic visited three classrooms on April 8th to gear up for this season’s vegetable garden.

The fourth graders were excited to lay the groundwork for this year’s garden. The morning started out with a lively discussion of what is meant by the word “organic,” establishing the fact that all plants need the proper amount of space to grow, and learning about “companion planting.” How do plants help each other in the garden? We came up with lots of ideas! Certain plants can help each other out by providing shade! Others deter insects, or even add nutrients to the soil! With this knowledge in hand, the fourth graders worked hard at planning out a map of the vegetable garden, square foot by square foot, ensuring that each vegetable had its “companion” close by to help the vegetables grow strong and stay healthy.

After creating a well thought-out garden map, the next thing to do was get some of the vegetables started indoors so they could be ready in time for harvesting. Luckily, the grade 3 and grade 2/3 classrooms were eager to get their hands dirty and plant some seeds. The students were excited to learn all about seeds. After inspecting a variety of seeds that could be found in their home pantries, each student was able to examine the different parts of a seed by dissecting a soaked lima bean.

Once the students identified the seed coat, the cotyledons, and the plant embryo, it was time to plant seeds! Choosing between varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, each class ended up with a diverse selection of seeds getting a head start in their compostable pots.

Within a few weeks, the students will be helping to rebuild their garden bed to ensure that the plants will have a secure environment to thrive in once they are transplanted. Thanks to the students’ enthusiasm and hard work at Devonshire Public School, it was a great start to the gardening season!

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