Spring flowers blooming
By Julie Matuszewski; photos of courtesy Rebecca Jones
DCS Montessori (DCSM) greenhouse teacher Rebecca Jones loves spring and all things growing green. In preparation for the spring season and DCSM’s school community annual spring plant sale, Jones and her greenhouse students looked closely at nutrients needed for plants to thrive. Using two growth systems, the class studied, compared and better understood the perfect growing environment for their spring flowers and vegetables.
Seedlings of the same flowering plants were growing in organic, conventional potting soil as well as a hydroponic system using three nutrient ingredients grow, micro and bloom which were all added to water. The 300-gallon water tank required students to calculate how much of each solution to add based on the stage of the flowering plants.
Students studied the sprout, seedling, vegetative, budding, flowering, and ripening stages of each plant. As the concentration of solution changed with each plant stage, students learned how to watch the concentration in the water tank using pH and EC meters.
Several vegetables have also been planted for the upcoming DCSM spring plant sale. Tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, green beans and cucumbers are just a few of the many varieties that will be available. The greenhouse students – together with the microeconomy students – planned, organized, marketed and executed this year’s sale. All proceeds from the plant sale will support the DCSM greenhouse and microeconomy programs.