Potatoes and Pole Beans Take Off

First graders have really been busy in the garden these last few weeks.  One of the first things the first graders do on every visit to the garden is Observation Time.  First, they read the temperature.  Next, they spend some time observing changes in the garden…and right now, the changes are happening fast.  These students have seen bluebonnets sprout, flower, get pollinated and now grow seeds, all in the last few weeks.  Insects are really coming out now so the students get to see bees, caterpillars, spiders and more.  We saw our first black swallowtail caterpillar in the garden this week as well, along with two baby caterpillars, happily munching on fennel. 

Did all of the parents out there know that the first graders know how to grow potatoes?  Each class has a potato tower in which they have 4-5 potato plants growing.  Every week, a few students are the potato crew, watering the plants gently. But in the last few weeks, we have seen some phenomenal growth so we are now busy mounding mulch around our potato stems to encourage the formation of the potatoes.   

While the potato crew waters, other students make observations, checking to see if we need to add mulch or this week, noticing new flowers on some of the potato plants. 
In addition to all of these other great things to watch in the garden, we have been keeping an eye on our zinnia and pole bean seeds that we planted.  Well, the beans have sprouted and boy, are they growing fast.  So we have started charts to record their growth, turning our weekly measurements into a bar chart that shows us easily which weeks have the fastest growth. We will keep adding to the bar charts until our last week in the garden, only four weeks away!



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