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Garden Activities per Grade

Priscilla Hayes, our Garden Manager, recently compiled plans for each grade at Littlebrook.  It is currently under review by all of the teachers, and is still a DRAFT, but in the meantime, we’ve borrowed her list of garden activities for each grade, so you can get an idea of what your children are doing in the garden throughout the year.

KINDERGARTEN Garden Activities throughout the School Year

  • Intro to plant families/Jack and the Beanstalk in September
  • Harvest lettuce for the Fall Picnic in October
  • Observe, count and pick cucumbers, pole beans and/or gourds in October
  • Save seeds from vine dried gourds and beans in October
  • Make and eat refrigerator pickles with cucumbers and beans (Food Day in October)
  • Pre-sprout peas in paper towels; observe seed germination (one week before St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Plant pea seedlings on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Start lettuces from seeds under lights in March or April
  • Transfer lettuce seedlings to tunnels so they will be ready to be outside in April
  • Plant lettuce seedlings and interplant lettuce seeds; introduce idea of succession planting
  • Harvest lettuces and peas, if ready, for Grandpals Day and the Spring Picnic in May
  • Taste lettuces and peas in garden, comparing different varieties, and making a tasting preference graph in May
  • Plant gourd and bean seeds in June, if the peas are done in time

FIRST GRADE Garden Activities throughout the School Year

  • Intro to Plant Families; Plant spinach from seedlings in September
  • Harvest spinach/chard/beets for Food Day in October
  • Plant garlic in late October to early November
  • Harvest spinach for a Thanksgiving donation (?) in November
  • Set up covered hoops in chard bed; plant spinach and/or beets here (and possibly in another bed to compare growth of protected versus out in the weather) - October through November
  • Plant onion seeds under lights; could start under tunnel as well in late February or early March
  • Plant chard, beets, spinach, and chives in March; depending on plant, directly in bed, with or without cold frame/hooped protection or under lights or under perimeter tunnel 
  • Plant annual flower seedlings under lights in March
  • Plant onion seedlings and onion sets (bulbs) at same time for comparison in April
  • Transplant spinach seedlings from tunnel into beds; snap garlic scapes in April
  • Plant annual flower seedlings outside in May
  • Harvest chard, spinach and beets in May or June, and have a tasting to emphasize use of leaves versus roots for different plants 

SECOND GRADE Garden Activities throughout the School Year

  • Intro to plant families; plant bok choy - September
  • Exploration of pollinator beds; discussion of food for adults versus for larvae; scout for pollinator adults or larvae - September
  • Observe swallowtail lifecycle
  • Harvest bok choy, celeriac, carrots and parsley for Food Day in October
  • Talk about weather and garden; observe rain gauge in garden; observe outdoor thermometer and take first reading; begin charting the two readings
  • Plant fennel and celeriac under lights in February or March
  • Plant carrots in a cold frame, bok choy, and curly/flat varieties of parsley under lights in March
  • Transplant fennel, celeriac, bok choy to outdoor beds in April or May
  • Harvest bok choy for Elm Court; pick and taste two varieties of parsley in June
  • Use soil probe to take soil temperatures; compare temperatures in raised beds with adjoining non-raised soil; do other soil activities, possibly using Project Soil Conservation Curriculum; also compost activities
  • Release ladybugs; observe/release praying mantis egg cases in May or June

THIRD GRADE Garden Activities throughout the School Year

  • Intro to plant families; harvest basil, mint, raspberries and rose hips; pin down strawberry runners into good spots in the bed (could transplant some, if they have rooted in the wrong place) - September
  • Fran McManus Apple Tasting for Food Day in October
  • Dye Exercise—harvest flowers and other plants to use for Dying in October
  • Harvest willow for baskets and possibly make structure for hops to climb 
  • Apple and pear pruning; Raspberry pruning; Rose cutting propagation - March
  • Plant dye garden and herb seeds indoors under lights in March or April
  • Plant dye garden and herb plants outside in May
  • Harvest and dry herbs to take home in nosegays in May to June

FOURTH GRADE Garden Activities throughout the School Year

  • Intro to Three Sisters; harvest three sisters 
  • Shell beans, remove corn kernels from cobs, save corn husks 
  • Make Three Sisters dish for Food Day in October
  • Three Sisters Activities for Fall
  • Begin checking soil temperature for corn planting; create corn mounds in April
  • Plant corn with one class in May
  • Plant beans and squash with other two classes, ~2 weeks after corn planting

FIFTH GRADE Garden Activities throughout the School Year

  • Intro to Freedom Garden; harvest peppers, okra, and squashes as they become ripe
  • Introduce plant family focus (nightshades) and talk about reproductive parts of plants, using Freedom Garden squash flowers in September
  • Make Freedom Garden/nightshade dish for Food Day in October
  • Research and order seeds for spring; talk about heirloom varieties and various geographic origins of Freedom Garden plants in January or February
  • Plant fish peppers indoors under lights in fifth grade classroom in March; one per student, so that each student can take one home around Mother’s Day; plant extras so enough for Littlebrook Garden 
  • Start okra and collards under lights; transfer peppers to tunnels for hardening off; each class could do one crop - April
  • Transplant peppers into individual pots in preparation for taking home in May
  • Plant out fish peppers, okra, collards in May
  • Direct plant potato eyes, squash seeds, black eyed peas in May or June