Planning for Planting
- Describe the importance of seasonal planting
- Describe the function of succession planting
Modern homesteaders are driven by the season, changing their eating habits, activities, and attention based on the ebb and flow of what is happening in the natural world around them. However, the culture of convenience has led us to disregard the seasons. Strawberries and tomatoes are available year round but it is unlikely that we are aware of exactly where those crops are being grown. They may be coming from a greenhouse or even overseas.
For the home gardener or small scale farmer it is imperative that they plant with the season and prepare for succession plantings so that they can make the most of the short window they have to grow market produce. With proper planning and execution, anyone can grow enough to gorge themselves on the fresh harvest and still put up some for the off-season. And that’s the way it should be. Just compare the flavor in one of those off-season imported tomatoes to the one you’ve hand-picked from the garden. There’s simply no comparison.
Tools & Materials
- Copy of Seeds by Season for each Student
- Succession Planning Worksheet
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by explaining the concepts of seasonal and succession planting. Describe why plants do well in some seasons but fail in others. Explain how to calculate when to start new seeds to replace a crop that will soon be harvested.
Activity (20 minutes)
Provide Students with a copy of the Seeds by Season document which shows varieties of vegetables categorized by season. Working as a group, select varieties that you intend to grow and organize them on the Smart Board or chalkboard by season. Then map the succession plan by establishing what will be planted first and what will follow as a succession crop. Record the plan on the Succession Planning Worksheet and use it to manage the seed starting and transplanting to the the Raised Planters.
Discussion (10 minutes)
What do we need to do in order to maintain a succession planting schedule? How often do you think we should revisit our plan to update it?
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 there is just one growing season each summer?
- Now that you’ve learned about seasonal and succession planting, do you think it’s possible to grow multiple crops in a single season using the same grow space?
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