Big Wide Experiment

October 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Howard

Across North America, students have planted tulip gardens using the same scientific protocol. Join them by planting a test garden of your own.

“We are looking forward to spring!” say the JN gardeners in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Every Garden Counts

Gardeners are digging in! Our first 40 Journey North gardens have been planted. Kids planted their bulbs in a peace garden, in a fairy garden, among worms and slugs, and in more rocks than anticipated. They planted on an island in the Great Lakes, by the shores of the Atlantic ocean, in interior Alaska, and everywhere in between.

Saskatchewan: “Hello everyone, we are experiencing a cold autumn with temperatures 10 degrees Celsius below normal. We popped our bulbs quickly into the ground because of the frost at night.”

Ohio: “It was really fun to plant all of the tulips.  We made sure to plant our bulbs so they were pointed side up.  We have a tulip journal to show what our garden looks like, write observations, and to think about what will happen next with our tulips.”

West Virginia: “Beneath cloudy skies, the three kindergarten classes at Shepherdstown Elementary School planted 80 tulip bulbs. With the help of volunteers, they also explored the inside of a bulb and made predictions on when the first tulip would bloom.”

Wondering and Experimenting

Journey North gardens are a springboard for questions and experiments like these:

Indiana: “We have had unusually cold fall weather.  Last night, we had our first frost. We are wondering if this will affect our tulip bulbs.”

Massachusetts: “What will happen if you plant a bulb upside down, under a rock, or just below the surface? Our class will let you know this spring!”

Before Burying Bulbs…

Your tulips have arrived and you are about to start digging…but wait! What are these things called bulbs?

Explore Bulbs: Inside and Out