Weeds are any unwanted plants that are growing in your garden and they can be a nuisance. Even though you did not plant them, they grow from seeds that have flown into your beds, or roots that have grown into the bed. They generally are persistent, fast-growing, and can quickly take over space that your vegetables need to grow, which can mean less food to eat at harvest time! Weeding your schoolyard garden is an important weekly task, so to avoid the weeding blues and keep your garden looking fresh, try these weeding activities.
Who can pull the most weeds per week?
· Encourage your students to pull weeds early and often by making a game out of this weekly task. Explain to your students that their vegetable plants need space in the soil for their roots to grow and above ground, weeds can at times becoming taller than their vegetable plants, shading them from the sun. Others, like bindweed, can vine around their vegetables, which can kill them. Put students on teams and use compost bags to collect pulled weeds. Weigh the pulled weeds each week or simply use the eyeball method to determine which team pulled the most. Celebrate the winning team at the end of each week.
Who can pull the longest root?
· Get rid of dandelions for good and challenge your kids to pull out the whole root. While some weeds will come back no matter what, a few weeds like dandelions, will not grow back if you pull the plant up by the entire root. For younger gardeners, measure pulled weeds using the eyeball method. For your older kids, break out the rulers and have them measure their roots. Record the different lengths and compare.
Let’s have a weeding race!
· Short on time, but need to get those weeds out? Have a weeding race! Set a timer for 3 minutes and establish some ground rules before this fast-paced weeding method takes place. Feel free to make your own rules, but here are the three I use – 1. Don’t throw pulled weeds above your head. 2. Don’t fling soil. 3. Don’t step in the garden beds. Instruct students to keep a pile of their pulled weeds next to where they are squatting outside of the garden bed. Ready, set, go! At the end of 3 minutes use the eyeball method to determine the winner!
Have you found other ways to help make gardening tasks more fun for your students? We’d love to hear from you! Share your creativity with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.