Monitoring growth, looking for pests
Another important part of monitoring is recording the growth of your plants.
Use the growth chart in the activity sheet to monitor the garden. Record the height and width of your plants.
Measure from the top of the soil straight up to the highest tip of the plant to determine the height.
A sewing tape measure can be used to measure the circumference of the plants to see if they are getting wider/fuller.
Other than water, another factor affecting growth are pests. There are many beneficial insects living in your garden that help your plants stay healthy. There are also pests that cause damage.
Use the link to find the best natural pesticides for the pests that cause damage. Natural pesticides will help keep your plants healthy.
Processing and applying learning
You have finally created a wildlife habitat, but how do you know if animals are using your garden?
When you are monitoring and caring for your garden take a few minutes to look around and make observations. Look on the ground, in the trees and shrubs and up in the air.
Can you see any scats (animal poo), tracks, or traces? Can you hear any new animal calls or noises?
Write these down with the other observations in your Planting Activity Sheets.
To finish this stage of the project, have a discussion in your class about the long term approach for your new habitat. How will you look after it, how will you monitor what visits and lives in the habitat, how can you encourage even more wildlife to your garden.
Keep the Junior Landcare group, garden club, school council and P&C involved in the long term care of your wildlife habitat garden.