Gardening with Youths Program
Little Gardens Make Colorful Blooms
On March 27, 2018, Garden Club members Donna Carville, Katherine Desselles and Bernardine Legendre met with the third grade students and teachers at St. John Elementary School. The purpose of this meeting was to plant a spring garden with the students in Mrs. Dupont’s and Mrs. Repp’s classes. Having planted a fall vegetable with these same students, it was decided that planting a spring flower garden would be something the students would enjoy. The fall vegetable garden was started with small vegetable plants, but the flower garden was started with seeds, so the students could see their flower plants grow from seeds.
The raised, box garden that was used for the vegetable garden was also used for the flower seed planting. Before planting, Donna Carville divided the garden into forty squares so each of the thirty-nine students would have their own square garden area to plant their seeds. The students used large popsicle sticks with their names to identify their planting squares.
Before planting, Bernardine Legendre and Katherine Desselles taught the students about the depth to plant their seeds (¼ inch), how many seeds to plant in each ¼ inch hole, and how to cover their planting areas after putting their seeds in the ground. The students were then given a small plastic container with several seeds to plant in their areas. After planting, the students used the small plastic containers to water their seeds from Donna Carville’s water bucket. The students also learned about the estimated time it would take for the seeds to germinate (seven to ten days). They were instructed that the plants that will grow from the seeds will be annuals, which means that the plants would last for only one planting season, and new seeds would need to be planted next year. Now that their “little gardens” have been planted, the students will take turns watering the garden as needed.
The students enjoyed planting their own little flower garden and are excited about watching their plants grow and their flowers to bloom. When their flowers bloom, there will be a variety of zinnias and sunflowers. The flower garden will be a colorful addition to the school, and the students will be very proud to know that their “little gardens” will add to the landscape of the school.
Note: One of the third grade students gave the garden club members a Thank You note to thank the Garden Club for helping them to learn about vegetable and flower planting.