Progress…

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It’s been a busy year so far… admittedly despite best efforts there is little time for my blog.  I’m a little embarrassed by this fact especially since I wrote something for the Green Parent magazine last year about how I make time for my hobbies.

I am very fortunate to have two jobs which I love and that are incredibly flexible around home (mainly outdoor) educating our twins.  Educating two little people is great fun but also a great responsibility and leaves me with little time alongside my work commitments for “me time”.  I’m working on it!

It is therefore always a great help when we find a lovely new place to visit or resource to use to enrich our outdoor learning.  I was recently contacted by Jennifer from Education.com about a lovely activity to share on my blog and that we can carry out in our garden.

Following the loss of our feathery flock during the Christmas period we decided that chickens are more hassle than they are worth (you can find out just how much of a hassle they have been in the chickens tab of my blog).  We will miss their company, the little noises and the cuddles but honestly I just don’t have the time for the issues.

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The area has been cleared of woodchip, poo and paraphernalia and this has left us with a large well fertilised flower bed at our disposal, perfect timing for a garden experiment!

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Our new flowerbed

Below you will find a lovely activity to do in the garden… Enjoy 🙂

Soil Amendments and Growing Beans

Soil Amendments

Could you grow a giant in your garden? Can soil amendments–conditioners added to the soil–help you grow a bigger beanstalk? This activity will introduce your child to plants and teach about finding perimeters at the same time!

Problem
Do soil amendments change the growth of a beanstalk?

Materials
– 8 scarlet runner bean seeds
– Compost
– Kelp fertilizer
– Trowel
– Two large pots
– Potting soil
– Watering can
– Trellis
– Ruler
– Tape measure
– Notebook and paper

Procedure
1. Find two places in the garden that have a lot of sunshine. This is where you will plant your bean seeds.
2. Wait until all danger of frost has passed, then measure out two 2 foot by 2 foot areas for your bean plants. 3. If you don’t have a garden, you can use the two large pots and potting soil. These are your garden plots.
4. Place four seeds a hand’s length away from each other in the first garden plot.
5. Add compost and kelp fertiliser to the second garden plot according to the directions on the packages. Use the trowel to gently move this into the soil in the second garden plot.
6. Place the other four seeds a hand’s length away from each other in the second garden plot.
7. Create a hypothesis, your best guess about what is going to happen. Do you think that the beanstalks will be the same width? Different widths? Will the plants be the same height? Different heights? Will it make a difference if you add helpful fertiliser and compost to the soil in one of the plots? Now, wait. Watch the seeds come up. Water the seeds whenever the soil begins to get dry.
8. Once the runner beans are a foot tall, add your trellis behind them so that they can continue to climb.
9. Once your plants begin to produce beans, it’s time to take out the ruler. Take a close look at each stalk next to the ground. Make sure that you measure each one at about the same height above the ground.
10. How wide is each stalk? Add the stalk widths of the four plants in the first plot, and then divide by four to get the average. Do the same with the second plot.
11. Now, use your tape measure to measure the height of each plant. Which ones are the largest?
12. Did adding fertiliser and compost make a difference? Are the stalks in the second plot giants?

Results
The bean plants with added fertiliser and compost will be larger and taller than the other bean plants.

Why?
All plants need light and water to grow, and plants make their own food through a process called photosynthesis. However, even though plants are good at making their own meals, they still need nutrients from the soil to grow. Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium help plants grow larger, make flowers, and fight off disease. They’re kind of like vitamins for plants.

If your plants grow in poor soil, they may still grow. However, they may not grow as much or make as many big leaves or large fruit. Adding organic fertilisers such as kelp fertilizer and compost helps make nutrients more available to plants. It’s like bringing a whole grocery store of vitamins right to your plants’ roots. This helps the plants grow large and strong, and it helps them grow great veggies.

Education.com aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, Education.com provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more.

 

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