Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Does Your Garden Grow?

For the past three years, my class and I have planted a vegetable garden. I usually apply for a grant. This year, with leftover grant money and a surprise package from Wal-Mart and Burpee, funding was a breeze! After a long weekend, I walked into my classroom to find this box of goodies! 
It came with a ton of seeds, some soil pellets, and planting cups. 
This year, we were a little late starting due to the crazy weather. Every time we thought it was warming up and got ready to plant, another cold front came in. About a month ago, we were finally able to plant! 
This bed has pumpkins, peppers, and green beans. 
(It has gotten too hot, too fast to plant the lettuce we were sent.)
 This bed has tomatoes, sunflowers, and marigolds.
 
The peppers are not looking too good! I do not think they like the hot days and cool nights we have been having. But these little guys were a surprise. Seeds were planted last fall, and they never grew. At the end of last year, we cleaned out the garden, tossed the soil and put down new mulch. The peppers appeared sometime in January. I guess they needed a year to finally sprout!
 I am not sure where the tomato plant came from either. Last year we had a plant, and it could not handle the heat. It died in a matter of days. Then when we suddenly had a pepper plant this year, the tomato plant sprouted a few days later. Not only did we get a huge one in the garden bed, we were surprised to find 2 tomato plants growing about ten feet away, near the parking lot!
I transplanted those guys right into the garden. I never thought they would survive, but they did. Now they are thriving! As of today, there are about 30 tomato blooms on it! 
 The mysterious tomato plant has been providing us with delicious tomatos for over two months now! 
For Mother's Day, we painted cups and planted marigolds for them. 
Can you believe we got another surprise this week? 
I guess when we were planting for Moms, we dropped some seeds. Again, this is by the parking lot! Look at the beautiful marigolds! 

When we began our garden, we created a what we know and our questions chart about plants. 
Instead of providing my students with the answers to their questions, I sent them off to research plants. 
 
We created a can/have/are chart.
Then we went about learning about seeds.
The students experimented with seeds by dissecting them. The goal was to find the coat and the embryo. 
I love her observation! "It was broke!"
They drew and labeled the seed parts. 
Then they made predictions about whether a seed will grow without it's coat.
Each student planted a seed with and a seed without it's coat. (Then they blew away in a storm, but that's another story!) FYI- both will grow. The seed without a coat will grow faster. 
Then we moved into what a plant needs. 
The students are taking care of the garden daily. They are also recording their observations daily, and researching how to keep the plants healthy. You can find my plant activities and observation journal here.


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