In this lesson students create a map of the garden. Using square foot gardening techniques, they learn about companion planting and seed spacing.
After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
Students will be able to:
Part 1: Building your garden
Before starting to plan the garden, take some time to discuss with the students and reflect about why we’re planting a school garden.
To make sure that our garden does well, and we get a big harvest in the spring and the fall, let’s think about what our plants and garden will need.
Have the students sit very closely together in a circle. Ask the students to pretend to be the tiny seed of their favorite vegetable, and explain that you will be “adding” the things the students identified as necessary for plants to grow. As you “add” these things (“Now the sun is coming out……and now the clouds are coming in to rain…” etc.) tell them to stretch out their legs as their roots grow and then stretch out their arms as their leaves grow…..When they grow up and stretch their arms, ask them “What else do plants need?” – SPACE!
Remind students that plants need different amounts of space.
Have the students pick a vegetable they want to plant in the garden and come get a garden planning card. Let them know that these cards will tell them how much space their particular vegetable will need. Each student follows the instructions on the cards to divide their 30cm square paper into appropriate smaller squares (either by folding or measuring). In the middle of each smaller square students should draw their vegetable (be creative and use colour!). At the end have students identify what their vegetable is somewhere on the paper, and put their names on the back.
After the students are done drawing their vegetable square, have them come up to fill in the calendar with information on when to plant and harvest the vegetable.
Part 2: Companion Planting
Plants also act as companions to one another.
Ask the students to use their garden planning cards to find out what the companions for their vegetable are and to find someone in the class whose vegetable is one of their companions. Once they have found their companion, invite them to lay out the squares on the ground in the shape of the bed outside (typically: 3 squares by 8 squares) –making sure to place companions next to each other. Tape them together to form a map of the garden.
There are different types of ways plants can be each other’s companion: