I'll bet now you're asking, Where do we start?
Lets break the task down into steps. Ask yourselves:
Step 1: What do we know?
Step 2: How long should it take?
Step 3: How do we know what to plant?
Step 4: Does everyone have a job to do?
- Gardening expert
- Pest Controller
- Location specialist
- Resources coordinator
- Design planner
Step 5: How do we get permission and funding for our sample garden?
Step 6: What next?
Step 7: Who cares for our garden?
Step 8: Monitoring our garden?
Step 9: Is it a good idea?
Step 10: Whats the best way to make a Display Book?
Step One: What do we know?
As a group, use Kidspiration to create a What we know mind map of what you already know about planting vegetables and creating a garden. Save this, as we will look at it at the end so we can see what we have learned.
Read through the rubric and make sure you understand the criteria you will be assessed on.
Step Two: How long should it take?
Using Microsoft Excel, create a timeline for your WebQuest.
Plot research time, garden building time, planting time and expected harvest times (you will have to come back after step 3 to plot expected harvest time). Give yourself realistic time in which to complete these tasks. You might want to visit Better Health Channel and have a look at their planting calendar to give yourself some ideas on what vegetables should be planted according to when you will be ready to start planting.
Step Three: How do we know what to plant?
Talk to the Canteen Manager and find out what vegetables they use in the canteen or might like to use. Each member of the group to chose at least two to research. You can use the Internet, books from the library or gardening magazines for your research.
Click on this link and use the Vegetable Growing Facts retrieval chart to help you collect your information.
You can take a trip to the library and here are some helpful websites for you to look at:
Hold a group meeting and compare your Vegetable Growing Facts retrieval charts to choose which vegetables you want to grow. Look at similarities in growing conditions to help make your choices. You can choose 5 vegetables to plant in your garden.
After you have chosen your vegetables you will need to plot expected harvest on your time line.
Step Four: Does everyone have a job to do?
We now need a:
- Gardening expert to research and decide how to plant a vegetable garden;
- Pest Controller to work out how to get rid of any pests and diseases in your garden;
- Location specialist to investigate possible locations for our vegetable garden;
- Resources coordinator to compile a list of resources needed for our garden; and a
- Design planner to design our vegetable garden.
Decide on your roles and start investigating!
Read your role carefully all the way through before you start, and make sure you understand what you have to do.
Some of your tasks may provide information that may help another group member and some of your tasks may affect another team member’s task so remember to talk to each other.
If you have completed your tasks, you may want to help another team member with their task.
Use the following websites to complete a Positives and Negatives Chart for both a Dig and No Dig garden. Compare both methods and decide which one you think would be best. You may want to chat to the Location Specialist to see what locations are being investigated.
How to start a vegetable garden (page 2)
After you have chosen what type of garden to build, list the steps needed to plant our vegetables. You can take a trip to the library and here are some helpful websites:
How to plant a vegetable garden (read step 2, step 4, step 5, feeding and after care).
Break down your list into the following categories:
Preparing the garden, Planting, Feeding and Maintaining.
As you are listing the steps, think about who will perform the tasks. Will it be a group effort? Or will one group member each do one thing?
Using your teams completed Vegetable Growing Facts worksheets, have a look at what pests and diseases are likely to affect your chosen plants. Investigate ways to keep our garden pest and disease free. You can take a trip to the library and here are some helpful websites:
Build your own Vegetable Garden - Have a look at the section titled Companion Planting in the Veggie Garden on the bottom of the page.
Decide what methods you would like to use to help with pest/disease control in your garden. Remember, if you would like to plant extra herbs you need to talk to your Design Planner as they will need to include these in their plan.
Have a look at the vegetables your team has chosen to plant and the amount of sunlight they might need. Walk around the school and identify up to four spots that you think might be good places for a vegetable garden. Work with the Design Planner to calculate the area you will need for your garden. You will need to monitor your garden in the morning at lunch and before you go home in the afternoon to see how much sun your garden will get and when. Create a chart to record your results.
When choosing your spots, consider
Distance to the canteen - where vegetables will be used
Closest water, to water garden everyday
Amount of sun needed
The surrounding trees. Although trees may good to provide shade, if you plant too close to large tree roots the tree will drink most of the water.
It is your job to ensure you have all the resources required to plant and maintain a healthy vegetable garden. Using the groups completed Vegetable Growing Facts worksheets, make a list of what you need and how much you need.
Talk to the other group members about what they need.
Gardening Expert - soil, fertilisers and tools.
Pest Controller - pest control.
Design Coordinator - how many seeds/seedlings.
Can you think of anything else you need?
Using the on-line Yellow Pages, conduct a search for nurseries in the school area and ring two different ones to get some prices. Ask them if they have any advice on the best type of soil and fertilisers. Use the Price Recording Sheet provided to record your information.
Design and draw a garden plan. The garden plan should be to scale and work on the basis that all seedlings should be planted 3 - 5 cms apart. This plan will be included the letter to the principle and your book.
AFTER you have drawn your own plan, go to GrowVeg and ask the teacher for log on details. You will need to show where you are up to in order to get the passwords.
Type in the perimeter measurements of your garden and use the vegetable pictures to plant rows.
How does your design compare? Is the area too big? Too small? How many of each vegetable seed/seedling do we need?
Let the Location Specialist know the area you will need for your garden.
Use the information icon for each vegetable you are planting to learn about companion planting (which plants are good for it to be planted next to). Use the Vegetable Growing Facts retrieval chart to record information located in the position, feeding, notes and harvesting section.
Share what you have learned with the Location Specialist and the Gardening Expert.
Let the resource coordinator know how many seeds/seedlings you will need according to your design.
Use companion planting information to decide the order of plants in your garden.
Show distance between each seed.
Make sure that the taller plants like corn and tomatoes don't stop the sun reaching the shorter ones nearby.
You'll need to walk around the area you plan to dig and make sure the plan you've drawn will work.
Step Five: How do we get permission and funding?
Before starting this step, organise a meeting with the teacher to go over what you have so far.
As a group, share what you have accomplished and learned in your role.
You now need to write a letter to the school principle asking for permission to use the location you have selected and for funding to buy the materials you need to create your garden. You need to include a paragraph explaining why that location was chosen.
Include a copy of:
- Resource Coordinators Price Recording Sheet,
- Design Coordinators drawing and
- A map of the school with the location clearly marked.
Using Microsoft Word and the letter template provided construct your letter. You may bring it to the teacher for proof reading when you have finished.
Step Six: What next?
Once you have received permission from the principle and the teacher has collected your resources, you can now build your garden!
Using the gardening experts steps, the gardening expert to distribute jobs for everyone and get to work!
Mark out the areas that you will regularily fertilise and use organic pest control on.
Organise a meeting with the teacher to determine when you could have time to work on your garden.
Organise to borrow the schools camera and take pictures of everyone working in your garden to use for your booklet.
Step Seven: Who cares for our garden?
Your plants will need to be watered every day, fertilised according to your research, staked when they start to grow taller and the garden bed will need to be weeded.
Establish a roster that gives all members of the group an even share of responsibility and rotates the tasks so everyone gets to do everything. Don't forget the school holidays if there are any coming up, you will need to plan who will water the garden over the holidays.
Step Eight: Monitoring the Garden
Over the next six weeks you are going to map the progress of your plants. We need to know how much they grow each week, when the first flowers appear, when the first vegetable appears for both the fertilised and unfertilised sections. We also want to know how effective your methods of pest control are.
Decide on the following:
How will you record the information?
Who will record the information?
Where will you keep the information? and then
Design a graphic organiser to help collate your research.
Take photos as often as you like to include in your book.
Take photos as often as you like to include in your book.
Step Nine: Is it a good idea?
Imagine building a garden that provided all the vegetables for the canteen all year round.
How big would it have to be?
What would be the issues? What would be the benefits?
Either using Kidspiration or your own Positives and Negatives Chart, brainstorm your ideas and decide whether you think it would be a good idea or not and why.
Draw a larger, to scale, version of how big you think the garden would have to be to produce enough vegetables
- Use the price recording sheet and estimate the cost of a larger garden.
- Think about the amount of care needed for the garden remembering that you would probably plant different vegetables at different times of the year.
- Discuss the seasons and how they affect vegetables growing, for example, tomatoes grow in the summer.
- You may want to scan your photos and use them in your presentation.
Create a PowerPoint presentation for the principle outlining your decision and why. Include both the positives and negatives of building a garden big enough to supply the canteen.
Need help with PowerPoint?
Click here PowerPoint Help
Step Ten: Creating your Display Book
Use whatever computer program you like to create an information display book to show parents, teachers and other students how you built your vegetable garden. You can be as creative as you like but you will need to include:
- Cover page
- Contents Page
- Vegetable page showing what vegetables were planted and why
- Vegetable Growing Fact sheets from step 3
- Individual Group Member Pages (see below)
- A how to care for your garden page of hints and tips for planting and growing vegetables
- Photos of your garden, before, during and after
Each member of your group is to create a page explaining their role in the process, what decisions they made and why.
Here is a short video with tips for using Publisher if you are interested: Basic Publisher Tips