Girl Scouting at Home: Complete Step Five of the Junior Gardener badge Part Five of Five

Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Outreach Program team has five fun activities to help you complete Step Five of the Junior Gardener badge, which is to grow your own garden. Over the next few days, we’re going to share our favorite tips and tricks to planting a great garden, no matter how little space or money you have. So far, we have learned about sourcing seeds, windowsill gardens, container gardening, and companion gardens. For the last part of this series, we are going to learn about square root gardening.

If you have access to bigger pots, a raised bed, a bit of yard, or a plot at a community garden, you can practice square root gardening in order to get the most veggies for your space.

Different types of plants need different amounts of space. For example, you can plant 16 carrots or radishes in one square foot of soil, but one zucchini needs at least two-square feet to itself. To help make sure your spacing is correct, you can make your own seed tape!

Seed Tape Activity

Materials Needed:

  • Square root gardening chart
  • Toilet paper/Facial tissue/Tissue paper/Paper streamers (white is ideal, but any color is fine)
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • One Pot
  • One Wooden spoon
  • Seeds
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrush
  1. Gather your materials. We used crepe paper streamers, but any thin, easily dissolvable paper is fine (toilet paper, facial tissues – so long as there’s no lotion or aloe, tissue paper, etc.)
  2. Make the cornstarch paste. Add one cup of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch to a pot and place on your stove over medium heat. Whisk until boiling, then turn off water, and let it cool completely. It will be thick and gel-like when finished.
  3. Once your paste is cooled, we can make the tape. I am using carrot seeds, as they are super tiny and ideal for seed tape, but feel free to use whatever seeds you have. Refer to the square root gardening chart to determine how far apart to space your seeds.                                       .
  4. Measure out one foot of your paper. If you’re using something wider, cut it in two-inch wide strips.
  5. Measure the distance you want your seeds and mark it on one side of your strip .              
  6. Using a clean paint brush, dab a dot of your cornstarch paste on each dot.                                  
  7. Place one seed on each dot of paste. 
  8. Line the edge of your strip with a thin layer of paste, enough to stick, but not so much that you dissolve the paper. 
  9. Fold the strip in half and let dry. 
  10. Plant in your garden at the depth recommended by the seed packet.

Square Root Gardening Chart:

TYPES OF PLANTS NUMBER OF PLANTS PER SQUARE FOOT
16 carrots, beets, radishes, leaf lettuce, green onions
9 onions, turnips, spinach, peas, snap peas, parsnip, bush beans
4 pole beans, head lettuce, garlic, romaine, asparagus pea, corn
2 cucumber, celery, basil, potatoes, swiss chard, kale
1 peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
½

 (THESE PLANTS NEED AT LEAST 2 SQ FEET EACH)

Summer squash, pumpkins, winter squash, melons, zucchini

 

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.