Raise the Roots!
- Identify the challenges of raised planters
- Identify the benefits of raised planters
Raised planters are nothing new. They have been dotting backyard patios for years but recently they have come into the spotlight for their role in urban farming. Raised planters can be built to almost any size and shape with a wide variety of materials. Some are made from upcycled pallet wood while others are simply repurposed items like an old cattle water trough that finds a new life as a raised garden bed.
The benefits of raised planters are many. They offer aesthetics, portability, and growing space for areas that simply don’t offer a traditional gardening option. But they present challenges as well.
When you consider the opportunity that raised planters give to the home gardener and the urban farmer, it’s surprising that we don’t see more of them being utilized in neighborhood common areas, in courtyards at public buildings, along the walls of schoolyards, or integrated into the downtown designs of small towns and dense urban centers across the country.
But maybe that’s exactly what is coming, a rediscovery of the power to grow. A desire to transform neglected space into a garden that is able to produce an edible landscape that is practical, appealing, and far better than nothing at all.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- Assembled Raised Planter
- Raised beds
- pH level
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson with an overview of the raised planter design. Provide them with scenarios where a raised planter might be used.
Activity (10 minutes)
Gather the Students around the planters and review the highlights of the design. Ask questions that explore why elements are designed the way they are and the function that they provide.
Discussion (20 minutes)
How will we control moisture in the soil? What about soil temperature? As our crops deplete the nutrients in the soil, how will we replenish those for the next planting?
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 have ever grown vegetables in a raised planter before?
- Now that you understand how raised planters function, how many of you think you would use a raised planter at home to grow fresh vegetables?
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