Tulip Garden Update: May 5, 2000
Gardens in the News
Since the last update on April 21, thirty more Journey North tulip gardens have bloomed!.
"The seasons, like great tides, ebb and flow across the continents. Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about 15 miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a hundred feet a day. It sweeps ahead like a flood of water, racing down the long valleys, creeping up hillsides in a rising tide."- Edwin Way Teale
Take a look at this week's map and notice how spring is ascending north across our continent.
Official Journey North Gardens
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Tulip Garden Highlights
Second graders from Enfield Elementary School in Ithaca, NY, report:
Fourth Graders from Plainfield Elementary in Saginaw, MI, wrote:
And from Anchorage, Alaska, (Lat. 61.16, Long. -149.98) Mike Stearling writes:
Here are records from previous years. Our cold April temperatures probably explain why it took 34 days from emerge to bloom this year:
Here's a Tip for Sharing!
Innovative Tulip Predictions for Kindergartners. From the lips of babes, "Our tulips are up and about 3 inches tall. We are each going to estimate how tall we think our flowers will grow by cutting a length of string that long. We can hardly wait to see them. We can't all remember what color the flowers are. Mrs. Holmes won't tell us - she made us graph our guesses. I suppose we'll find out soon enough."
Ms. Holmes' "Kindergarten Kids" (email@example.com)
Fences, Bobcat Scent, Wolf Scent and Human Hair! Discussion of Challenge Question #13
Our tender and juicy tulip plants make delicious fodder for our wild, hungry neighbors. In our last update, we wrote about moose and the Alaska garden site. Our question asked how high a fence would need to be to keep moose out?
Bill Vedders of Kenai, Alaska, shares his knowledge of moose. "The fence wouldn't be high, but would cover the tulips. To keep moose out a fence has to be about 10 feet."
He reminds us that the fence doesn't necessarily need to be a vertical one! You could also keep out unwanted critters with some strong netting suspended over the top of the garden!
Ms. Behne's Fourth graders from St. Croix Falls Elementary, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, sent us this tip: "We put human hair on the ground around the tulips to keep the deer away. So far the deer haven't touched the tulips."
Another gardener sends this advise, "As for the skunks eating the Tulips, if you can get some Bobcat scent and spray it around the plants, this might work. Wolf scent works for the Moose."
'Geotropism' and 'Gravitropism': Discussion of CQ #14
Plants in Space!
"If plants grow upwards on the earth due to gravity, what would happen in space where there is no gravity? Do plants exhibit geotropism in space?"
We are all fascinated with thinking about what it is like up in space. Even after over four decades of space travel, there are still so many questions we seek to answer!
After doing some searching, and learning that the term 'geotropism' is synonymous with 'gravitropism', it appears that how plants grow in space is still a hot research topic!
Understanding the requirements of plants for normal growth in space is becoming more important as we venture into longer space flights. Prolonged space flights will rely on the growth of higher plants for water purification, atmospheric conditioning, nutrient recycling, and food production.
Plants have evolved to grow on Earth where we have gravity. Plant hormones evolved to aid roots to grow down and shoots to grow up. When you get them into a zero, or less than normal gravitational environment their systems are confused and they grow randomly. This causes problems inside the plants and they tend to self-destruct. The good news is that good old oxygen seems to counteract some of these problems.
One research project conducted through the BioCurrents Research Center, showed that giving plants oxygen during spaceflight not only impacted root health but also may lead to changes in root orientation sending those roots towards the nutrients they need.
Keep up the research for our future space gardens!
A Wise Teacher and a Teachable Moment
Mrs. Dempsey's Class at Dunning School, Framingham, MA, concentrated on our plants in space question. Here were some of her student's ideas about what would happen in space:
Mrs. Dempsey shared this:
Great idea, Mrs. Dempsey!
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question
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The Next "Data Only" Tulip Garden Update Will be Posted on May 12, 2000.
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