For the second installment in our Signs of Spring online learning series, journey to the Project GROWS farm with us as we discuss what vegetable plants need in order to grow.
In this episode you’ll learn how we are meeting these needs for the tomato, beet, onion, collard greens, kale, cabbage, and parsley seedlings that are currently in our greenhouse. Then venture outside with us to the beds where we have transplanted our lettuce, spinach, carrot, and peas. You can help us make observations about the size, shape, texture, and color of their leaves! And of course we begin with a mindfulness exercise to help us be calm and focused so that we can learn.
Why is it important for farmers to notice the leaves of our plants? First, as we discussed in last week’s episode, we need to be able to distinguish our vegetable plants from our weeds. Second, we need to know when to harvest our vegetables, so checking on our plants every day and noticing their color and size helps us make those decisions. Third, paying attention to the leaves also helps us notice if something is wrong! Sometimes if leaves are yellow or shriveled, it might mean that the plant is not getting everything it needs. Maybe it is thirsty and needs more water! Maybe it doesn’t have enough space and a weed is crowding it out. Or maybe the soil doesn’t have the right nutrients! Then we can make changes so that the plant can be as healthy as possible.
Download the Plant Observation Activity in English so that you can practice comparing and contrasting leaf size, shape, texture, and color on your own!