Weather: Mostly cloudy; High 64°F/ Low 44°F
Spring is officially here! The warmer temperatures and frequent rain showers are creating great conditions for the plants in our school gardens. Now is the time to make sure you have all your spring crops planted and to start looking for sprouts!
We planted our garden bed at the Civic Garden Center using the square foot gardening method and arranging our spring varieties by following the guide on the Civic Garden Center Spring 2017 Seed Collection handout (page 2). For information on the square foot gardening technique and preparing your garden for spring planting, view our Square Foot Gardening Blog.
Seed mats have been our preferred method for planting with students this spring. However, we do tweak this technique accordingly, based on the age group we are working with. The seed mat measuring method we outlined in our Seed Mat blog, is a great way to combine math and science in your garden lessons and works best for students in middle and high school. For students in younger grades, we still using the method of attaching the seeds to the napkin/paper towel, but we identify the places to put the paste for the students. This can be accomplished quickly by referencing the seed spacing guide and then either folding the napkin to create the corresponding number of intersections or simply “eyeball” the spacing and recreate this pattern on your mat. Students of all ages can then engage in applying the paste and seeds.
When your garden is ready for planting, the seed mats fit right in the square foot grid. All students can help to “plant the mat”. When finished, the seed mat should be covered with a thin layer (about half an inch or less) of soil, so no part of the paper towel of napkin can be seen. We’ve been having fun adding a little extra color to the garden by having students paint popsicle sticks or paint stirrers and use these as the plant ID markers.
If possible, we recommend adding a layer or straw on top on your planted garden bed. This acts as a mulch and helps hold moisture and reduce weeds.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments or support!