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Student-Inspired Experiments
Students often wonder what might happen to their tulip gardens if something changes in the planting process. Here are three examples of experiments inspired by student questions.

Question: Does later planting mean later bloom date?

We (Mrs. Fisher's and Ms. O'Gorman's classes) planted our tulip garden one week AFTER Mrs. Fishbone and Mrs. Chang's classes planted theirs. Will planting time affect when the tulips bloom?

  • The majority of Mrs. Fisher's class predicted that the other test gardens here will bloom the same time as ours, regardless of when they are planted.
  • The minority of the class predicted that it's more important when the bulbs were planted and think ours will bloom later because we are planting so very late.

- Spring Hill Elementary, McLean, Virginia

and bloom date

Question: Bulbs planted in the garden vs. in a pot - how will their growth compare?

Our third Grade Science classes planted several of our tulip bulbs in November in the ground in the Reading Garden outside of our classrooms. We also planted a few bulbs in soil in pots outside the back doors of our classrooms in October.

We are interested to watch the progress of the tulip bulbs. We will compare and contrast the growth of the bulbs planted in the soil in the Reading Garden with the ones planted in the pots.

- Colfax Elementary, Colfax, North Carolina

In a pot or in the ground?
In a pot
vs. in the ground

Question: How will growth of 2-year old bulbs compare with new bulbs?

We planted our garden on a warm, sunny day. The temperature was around 65 degrees, which is quite a few degrees warmer than usual. We planted our bulbs in beds used two years ago and we found several of the old bulbs. We will plant the old bulbs separately and compare them with the new bulbs as an additional experiment.

- Indian Lane Elementary, Haverford, Pennsylvania

Old bulbs vs. new