Posts Tagged ‘Nitrogen’

Gardening Calendar: Spring Garden Tips

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Today is the first day of Spring! That means fun in the mud at my house! Spring means different things around the country; it’s time take advantage of the warmer weather and start prepping the garden and yard. Here’s a look at your March to-do list. Pick your region and get to work. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 20: End of the Season

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Here we are at the end of another garden season. The hail set me back, for some of you it was grasshoppers, deer or disease. As I harvest the last of the summer veggies, I am taking notes on what grew well and what didn’t.   (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 17: Side Dressing with Commercial Fertilizer

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
I am really good at growing weeds! As you can see from this patch where I sowed carrots and herbs, there are more weeds than carrots and herbs. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 12: How To Read A Fertilizer Label

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
As promised, this week we are looking at fertilizer labels. When you walk into the garden center you will see there are lots of different choices. Below, I show different samples of fertilizers. I am not promoting one or the other; I use a variety of different fertilizers for different purposes. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 11: Why Fertilize?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Snow and rain have me talking about gardening rather than actually gardening. I’m not complaining. We need the moisture and it gives me the opportunity to help a few friends by planting seeds of inspiration for their first garden. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 10: Prepare & Amend

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Oh, my sore muscles! I took advantage of the sunshine and removed some plant stubble that was in the garden since last fall. It felt good getting dirty and putting in a few hours of hard work. These sore muscles remind me that gardening is great exercise and part of a healthy lifestyle! How many overweight gardeners do you know? (more…)

Science Activity: NPK Bracelets

Monday, February 17th, 2014
This fun bracelet activity is a great way to introduce the three essential plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potassium (K). As students put the various beads together on the bracelet, they will have a better understanding of what plants need to grow. Also, use Nutrients for Life’s free elementary activity book, Fun with the Plant Nutrient Team, to enrich the lesson. If using with the booklet, build the bracelet as students work their way through the book. Interestingly, plants do not technically need soil to grow, as seen with air plants and hydroponic setups, but simply the essential plant nutrients (N-P-K). Grade Levels: 2 to 6 (but we have seen high school teachers adjust this for their classes!) Length: 10 minutes/25 minutes when used with Fun with the Plant Nutrient Team Group size: This activity works well in both small group and large settings Objective: Students will be able to recall what conditions plants needs to grow, such as plant nutrients (in the soil), sunlight, water, and air. Materials needed: (One per student) Note: We purchased individual N, P, and K (9mm) alphabet beads at http://www.namebeads.com. Green chenille sticks (pipe cleaners) or green ribbon Green pony beads Clear pony beads Black or brown pony beads Yellow pony beads Light blue pony beads N, P, K 9mm beads (optional) Purple pony beads Procedure: Place each bead on the chenille stick, while reviewing what each bead represents. (Green chenille stick)—Plants: Farmers grow plants that require nutrients from the soil (Black or brown bead)—Soil: Farmers help to protect the environment by testing their soils to learn if the soil contains the right amount of nutrients. If nutrients are missing, the farmer will add more by adding fertilizer. The three main nutrients needed for the plant to grow are N, P, and K. (N bead - optional) — Nitrogen (Green Bead)—Nitrogen helps the…

Kids in the garden: I can’t keep them out!

Friday, June 28th, 2013
I cannot keep these two girls out of the garden! They want to plant, weed, and harvest, and thankfully the plants aren’t affected by all of the noise they make. The chatter goes something like this: “Can we pick the broccoli?” “Is this one a weed?” “It’s my turn to use the hoe!” “I can’t see it?” “Why is there a flower?” “What’s that?” “Is that a spider?” “Where did it go?” “How many seeds can I have?” “That’s a prickly weed! How did it get prickly?” “I’m thirsty.” This week, I actually got whacked by the hoe while getting drilled with questions. I was pulling weeds, and my four year old insisted on helping by hoeing in the same row. Ouch! Apparently, there are hazards when gardening with kids.  Honestly, I love it! I am glad to have this time to teach through the garden. (more…)

Fascinated with Fertilizer

Monday, June 24th, 2013
In agriculture, we are trying very hard to get the word out: we feed the world. Our mission is to produce a large and safe food supply in a way that is environmentally sound and beneficial. Another organization telling the agriculture story is Illinois Farm Families. They have opened their farms to Chicago area moms; moms who want to know how their food is grown. They bring along their cameras and notepads and share with their peers what they see, hear and learn on the farm. (more…)

Hungry Tomato

Friday, May 31st, 2013
If this is the future of my tomato crop, I am in trouble!  This little guy has been in the ground for two weeks. He has had sun, rain, rain, rain, sun, and rain. He needs a little TLC in the form of warm temperatures and N-P-K!! I cannot control the sun, but I can control the nutrient level in the soil. (more…)

Soils and AP Science

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Look at these scientists! Lead by AP science teacher, Nancy Bridge, these students measured the amount of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) present in five different soil types. Did you know they could do that? When I want to know the levels of NPK, I send soil samples to the soil scientist at the university. Skip the university - in Mrs. Bridge’s class, the students get to do it themselves. How cool is that? (more…)