1st graders create a Cool Color garden

23 Oct

Last week, the first graders came out to the Titan Garden to get their bed planted.  Awaiting them were numerous Garden Buddies with garden activities and planting materials all ready to go.

The first stop was making Soil Soup.  First Grade is learning all about soils and what materials make up soil in their science module.  So they came out to get a hands on lesson in making the perfect garden soil.  They learned that silt, clay and sand are made up of different sized particles, with clay being the smallest and sand being the largest.  They mixed these together to help create the right mixture of sizes to have the best properties for holding water but also provide good drainage for plant roots.  Then they talked about how compost is made and added compost to the mixture.  Voila…the perfect garden soil.

Each class then split into two groups.  One group planted while the other group learned about native and adapted plants in the garden.  For example, they learned that bronze fennel, also a culinary herb, is a favorite of the swallowtail butterfly caterpillar, who eats his way through the plant until he is big enough to become a chrysalis.  Some of the classes even got to see some caterpillars in action on this plant.  They also learned that blue mistflower is a favorite of the Monarch butterfly, especially during it’s migration through Austin to Mexico every October.

Over in the garden bed, first graders happily created their Cool Color garden by first loosening up the dirt and then planting ornamental kale, ruby crystal grasses, daffodil bulbs, Swiss chard, artemesia, red dianthus, and yellow bush daisy.  They learned about their new drip irrigation system that helps keep the garden watered but helps us conserve water as well.

Great job, first graders.  We look forward to beautiful color from your garden for months to come!

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