June 30

Sprouts and Vines

Well the irrigation has been installed and is hopefully keeping the pumpkins well hydrated. I guess the technical term is irrigated. We now have many plants coming up and adding more leaves to their stems. There was a distinct difference between the 2 gardens with germination.  Garden 1 had 29 of 32 seeds germinate, while Garden 2 had 21 of 33 seeds germinate.  Many students predicted that the sunlight was the key factor in germination rate.  What other factors could have played a role?

We may need to thin some soon. The teachers are checking in once in a while to make sure everything is growing well during the summer months.

Waiting for germination.

Waiting for germination.


The first plant to germinate.

5th graders finished up the year well.  We worked hard to create a legacy crop that will be growing at the beginning of your 6th grade year.  Be sure to stop by to see how your hard work is paying off. Hopefully we have enough fruit to harvest for our 1st graders.

June 3

Planning for the Garden

Kids have been actively working on the garden at Challenger Elementary.  We know a few things about plants, and pumpkins in particular.  They are organisms and have some specific needs.  I asked kids,

“What are the things that pumpkins need to live and grow, or germinate?”

Pumpkin Seed Germination

Adapted from curriculum visions.








Here’s what they said.





One factor we can control is water.  As a result, students decided to begin working on answering the following question:

“How will the plants get water?”

Some students thought we could water them with gardening canisters that hold water.  Others thought we should use a hose and spray the water on the garden.  A few students said that we could use a sprinkler.  All of these methods could work just fine.  However, I suggested we could use drip irrigation because we wouldn’t be here to monitor is over the summer.  Drip irrigation could be setup with a timer so that the water would come on automatically.  In the end, we began planning for irrigation and kids picked the design that seemed to fit our needs best.


Sandra, Yareli, Jason and Tim work through the irrigation packet.


The Orange Group begins designing the irrigation layout for Garden 1.

Once kids finished their designs, they determined the materials list they needed and came up with a total cost.  This took some time.  Many students in our class were unsure how many inches were in a foot.  This was important because we had to know how much tubing to order.  It was measured by the foot.


Sofia, Jade and Navi figure the total cost for their plan.

Meanwhile, we planted the pumpkins to get our crop started.  Hopefully the irrigation plan will come together soon.