- Explain why plants need appropriate spacing
- Determine how much space any variety needs
This lesson is a companion (see what we did there!) to the Good Neighbors: Basics of Companion Planting lesson. In that lesson, Students used plant markers to orient different varieties in the Raised Planter based on companion relationships. This lesson should follow the next day to further refine the plan.
It’s undeniable that every gardener wants to grow everything, all varieties, every seed, in any space they can find. It’s probably an undiagnosed condition, disease, or complex. And it’s contagious! But that’s not a bad thing. When you catch the gardening bug you want to witness and participate in the magic of the process. But knowing where to temper your excitement and enthusiasm may actually produce better results and higher yields than simply tossing every seed you can find into the garden. Properly spacing your plants for maximum health and yield will certainly help with that.
Tools & Materials
- Seed packets for each variety of starts
- Root space
- Square foot method
- Maximum yield
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson with a review of the spacing needs for each variety that is being transplanted based on the information printed on the seed packet. Explain what can happen if plants are not spaced properly.
Activity (20 minutes)
Have the Students adjust the markers for the trans-plants in the raised planter that they laid out in the previous lesson. This may require removing some of the markers altogether. Consider that some plants can be sown directly into the soil and not trans-planted. Students may want to include such varieties into the plan particularly if they would be beneficial companions. Give them a common measurement to use. Six inches might be the length of their hand, one foot the length of their arm. This will allow them to easily determine spacing. Of course, rulers are also pretty handy.
Discussion (10 minutes)
What will happen if plants are spaced too closely together? Too far apart?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you think plants need to have space to grow for them to be healthy?
- Now that you know the importance of proper plant spacing, raise you hand if you could plan a garden on your own.
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