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Tulip Garden Update: October 16, 1998

Today's Report Includes:

The First Forty Journey North Gardens Have Been Planted!
In last month's report we were waiting for the first garden of the year to be planted. At the top of the world in Utsjoki, Finland (69.90 N, 26.90 E), fall arrives in a hurry. The days are now only 7 hours long! Thanks to Utsjoen Saamelaislukio School for planting the first garden there so we can all watch them wait and wait and wait for spring.

In Council, Idaho (44.95N, -116.59 W), Ms. Huter reported their news: "Our class planted 49 bulbs, all Red Emperor. We measured the circumference of the bulbs and weighed them, too. We graphed our data. One of our students had so much fun that she couldn't sleep at night."

And from Winnipeg, Manitoba: "WE BURIED OUR TULIPS! With lots of excitement and help from three classroom parents. We had to add some peat moss to our clay soil or 'Manitoba gumbo' as some people call it. It was a warm, windy, cloudy day that brought some rain five hours after our planting. Our tulip bulbs are off to a caring start and have a nice warm bed for the winter."

Today's Tulip Garden Data

Thanks to everyone listed above for sending their news. If you have planted a garden and you are NOT on this list, please report to Journey North.

Report Your SightingsHow to Report
Simply press the "owl" button and a Field Data Form will appear. (From the same button, you can also "Go to the Sightings Database" and read comments from all gardeners.)

How to Map Fall Data
We recommend marking the location of each garden on your map using color-coding labels. (The "Avery" brand 1/4 inch size works well.) Write the date each garden was planted on the face of the label. Next spring, you can record the date the tulips emerge and the date they bloom at the same site by covering each label with a new one.

Doesn't this makes you wonder?

Challenge Question #2
"Do you think the date that tulips are planted this fall will affect the date that they emerge and bloom next spring? Why or why not? How could you test this?"

To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.

What If......? Time to Experiment
What if you planted your tulips upside down? Or 10 inches underground instead of 7, as the planting instructions specify? Would it really matter if you planted them in a warm, sunny courtyard? What would happen if you didn't plant your garden exactly according to the instructions?

In Anchorage, Alaska (61.21 N, -149.86 W), the whole school is experimenting. Mr. Sterling's class reported: "We planted our official Journey North Tulip garden on October 2. But 16 other gardens are being planted to investigate the relationship of temperature microclimates to emergence and blooming." (sterling@corecom.net)

Try This
  1. Plant one "official" Journey North garden EXACTLY as instructed in the Planting Instructions.
  2. Gather all the questions students ask while selecting your garden site this fall. As a class, discuss which of these questions you could test in an experimental garden.
  3. Then, plant experimental gardens to test questions you'd like to investigate.
  4. Important: Next spring, report to Journey North ONLY from your "official" garden. (But tell us about your experiments in the Comments of your report.) Remember, the planting instructions are an important part of the large Journey North experiment, so follow them closely!

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question:

1. Address an e-mail message to: jn-challenge-tulip@learner.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 2
3. In the body of the message, answer the Challenge Question.

The Next Tulip Garden Update Will Be Posted on November 18, 1998

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