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Make a Grow Log -- A Discovery Garden Activity
Observe the Changes to the Discovery Garden over Time

The enduring beauty of a garden is that it changes over time. Visit the Discovery Garden to observe it change as the plants grow. Watch what happens to the plants during the different seasons.

Plan a Project of your Own

Ask questions and make predictions about the changes you expect to happen. Make a project of your own that will answer one or two of your questions.

Visit the Discovery/Butterfly Garden to collect data about the changes to the plants and to the garden. Use the images and measurements provided on this site along with your own observations and measurements. Plan how you will use the data to answer your questions and test your predictions.

Use data charts to organize your data. Record all you data in the data charts. Make a few graphs. Complete your project with a statement of what you discovered.

Making Measurements of Plants
Measuring the height of a plant in the Discovery Garden
Sam measures a plant's height.

Measurements of plants are done in different ways. One of the easiest is to stand a ruler next to the plant and measure the height of a particular stem or the whole plant. Measurements can be made daily, weekly, or monthly. Choose a frequency that matches the age of the plant and a question about the plant. Here are some points to consider.
  • A newly planted or very young plant might be expected to grow more rapidly.
  • A plant just pruned or trimmed might have a stem that would grow more rapidly, or not.
  • An established might grow more rapidly during the spring than in the summer.
Choose a question to answer and decide on the frequency of your measurements that would best answers the question.

Sample Data Chart: Grow Log

Make a data chart for the growth of a few plants. Use weekly measurements of the height of a plant or just a branch and record the data in the chart. Use the data to make a line graph of the growth of each plant over time. Below is a sample question and its chart to get you started.


Sample Data (Fake Data to use as an Example) 


Question: How fast does a morning glory plant grow?

 
       Data Chart for the Morning Glory Plant
   | Height in cm |   Date   | Time  in days | Growth in cm |
           10cm           5/1/14             0 da               0 cm
           12cm           5/5/14             4 da               2 cm

Data in this chart is made up. Data is for example only. However, you can use the data to calculate how fast the plant grew in 4 days by taking 2 cm and dividing it by 4 da like this:  

       2cm/4da=1/2 cm per day.

Of course, this gives an average rate of growth for our pretend sample.

Extended Activity: Make a Graph

Make a graph of the data Growth (Y-axis) vs Time (X-axis).  How does the average rate of growth compare to the slope of the line?



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