- Students will be able to describe the ideal soil conditions for optimal plant production.
Tools & Materials
- Sketch paper
- Natural materials
Seeds will germinate with proper moisture and the right temperature. But it takes more than that to scale production to a level that will feed a family or classroom. The proper conditions for optimal growth include the soil composition below ground and many systems working above ground.
The complexity of these systems lies in their interconnectedness and how they work together. Nutrients and water are able to flow from one system to another, for example. So the better understanding you have of these systems and how they work together, the better prepared you will be to manage and manipulate the conditions to meet your needs.
Have the students draw or create a cross-section model depicting the ideal garden conditions – above and below ground – with labels and descriptions for each horizon or system. The model could be created as an artistic rendering, digital model, or even a living representation using materials from the natural world. Each depiction should include above ground systems such as mulch layers, organic debris, shading, or structures. Below the surface, students should demonstrate an understanding of the various soil horizons that make up an ideal soil profile.
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