Going GREEN (Plant Green!) By: Spenser Young
Summertime Growing • For the 3rd straight summer I worked at Lowe’s Home Improvement in the Outside Lawn & Garden department • During that time I learned more about plants and how to grow them than I had previously done the summers before
The LoweDown • From Working in Lowes’ Garden Center I learned that there are different kind of factors that contribute to a plant’s growth, which include: • Amount of sun exposure • The plants immune system • Annuals and Perennials • Fertilizers (N-P-K percentages) • Trimming • Hardiness • Soil Ph balance • Watering • Minerals in soil along with organic material
Overall Experience • My time spent over the summer at Lowe’s was actually quite helpful. I learned the that fertilizers are composed of three different main elements that perform a specific purpose. • Nitrogen – Induces growth in plant foliage • Phosphorus – Creates a stronger root system and Induces bigger and brighter blooms in buds • Potassium – Increases plants immune system
Plant Knowledge • Annuals are plants that bloom once a year, then die during the winter months (Perennials return each year healthy as before) • Some plants only need a couple hours of sun as compared to some that need a minimum of 6 or more hours • Depending on the heat and humidity the amount of water a plant needs will vary (the hotter it is then the more water it will need through the day and visa versa) • Pruning a plant can induce more bud production on the plants • Making sure the soil around the plant has a balanced Ph level can be the difference between a successful garden and a disastrous one • Depending on the area the plant is in determines the hardiness it is considered to classified. Not all plants can thrive in the same environmental conditions. Depending on how cold the area gets will determine whether or not the plant will be able to survive as the year goes on
My Inquiries • Is it chlorophyll that makes plants green? If not, then what element causes this? • What are some name origins of plants such as the Black Eyed Susan & Gay feather & Weeping Cherry Tree?
Indiana State Standards • Indiana 4th Grade Science Standards meet through this inquiry include: 4.1.2 - Recognize and describe that results of scientific investigations are seldom exactly the same. If differences occur, such as a large variation in the measurement of plant growth, propose reasons for why these differences exist, using recorded information about investigations 4.4.2 - Investigate, observe, and describe that insects and various other organisms depend on dead plant and animal material for food. 4.4.3 - Observe and describe that organisms interact with one another in various ways, such as providing food, pollination and seed dispersal. 4.4.4 - Observe and describe that some source of energy is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow. 4.4.6 - Explain how in all environments, organisms are growing, dying and decaying, and new organisms are being produced by the old ones.
More Standards… • 5th Grade 5.2.7 - Read and follow step-by-step instructions when learning new procedures. 5.2.8 - Recognize when and describe that comparisons might not be accurate because some of the conditions are not kept the same. 5.4.2 - Observe and describe that some living things consist of a single cell that needs food, water, air, a way to dispose of waste, and an environment in which to live. 5.4.4 - Explain that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some do not survive as well, and some cannot survive at all. 5.4.5 - Explain how changes in an organism's habitat are sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful. 5.5.7 - Explain that predictions can be based on what is known about the past, assuming that conditions are similar.
Resource • Lowe’s Garden Center Training Program • Lowe’s Live Nursery Specialist tips and tricks for growing gardens