Gardening with STEM: How to Start a Garden

how to start a gardenGardening is a hands-on teaching tool that is appropriate for kids, teens, and adults of any age. Learning how to start a garden is just the beginning. Planting a garden works well as a comprehensive means of studying STEM-related topics. (It makes sense, since plants have stems, right? Ha!)

In general, gardens connect people with nature and the environment. There are also many other educational benefits in gardening, especially if a creative approach is taken. Here are just a few of the ways you can use gardening to support STEM-based learning:

  • Science – A garden can help reinforce one’s understanding of life cycles, insects, weather, and the environment – with the possibility of emphasizing sustainability if recycled materials and organic practices are used. The need to plant at a particular time of the year brings in biology; i.e., light, heat, and other factors that affect plant growth. Soil pH and mineral composition bring in chemistry, etc.
  • Technology – Tools used in small gardens are a great way to branch off into learning about agricultural technology and machines used in farming and harvesting larger crops. Examples include plows, threshers, and irrigation systems. How might new technologies such as robotics or big data be utilized in agriculture?
  • Engineering – Building, planting, and watering a garden is great engineering and design practice. Decide where the garden would best be located, taking into consideration the amount of sunlight, proper drainage, seed spacing, and other important factors that affect how plants grow.
  • Mathematics – Gardening is a great way to promote a variety of math concepts; i.e., how many tomatoes would you have to grow and sell to make a profit? Garden layout, raised bed design, or building a greenhouse could involve both geometry and measurement. By incorporating a weather station into the garden, students can track and analyze the data using graphs, charts, and averages for patterns and trends.

How to Start a Garden has written a detailed, comprehensive 7,000-word guide that is packed with tips and advice on how to start a garden. It’s completely free online! Contents include:

  • Garden with Nature
  • Follow the Sun
  • Don’t Try to Keep Out what you Can’t Keep Out
  • It’s All in the Soil
  • Organizing the Garden
  • Buying Seeds, Starters, Bulbs and Seedlings
  • Companion Planting
  • Supplies
  • Glossary

Here is the link:

Fun Fact

April is National Garden Month in the United States, and that’s true for most of the country. However, September is fall planting season in the desert southwest, after high temperatures dip below 100°. In the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are reversed, September is the start of prime spring gardening time in places like Australia and New Zealand. Or garden all year round with a greenhouse!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.