Planting Strings Activity

Activity Outcomes

  • Students will understand that seeds and plants need space to grow
  • Students will create a tool that can be used in the Learning Garden to plant seeds

Materials and Prep

  • Straws, 5 straws planting string
  • Student scissors, one per group
  • Yarn or Lace, cut into 36-inch-long pieces
  • Beads, at least 36 per planting string
  • Ruler, one per group
  • Review the activity and prepare one example Planting String

Teacher Background

Plantings seeds can be a time consuming and tedious activity for both teachers and students. We developed an easy to make tool to help you and your students efficiently and accurately plant seeds in your Learning Garden. Create Planting Strings with your students in the classroom before heading to your Learning Garden to plant.

Common seed space requirements for Learning Garden Crops:

Crop Seed Space Crop Seed Space Crop Seed Space
Bean 4” Beet 3” Carrot 3”
Greens 4” Peas 1” Radish 2”
Spinach 3” Onion 4” Lettuce 3”


Let you students know that they will soon be planting seeds in your Learning Garden and to prepare for our seed planting activity we will be making a tool today to help make sure we plant our seeds with the correct spacing between them.

Ask students to explain why they think that seeds (and plants) need space to grow. Solicit responses and, if appropriate, encourage students to think about their own space needs. Do they have their own room, their own bed?

Introduction Demonstration:

Have two students come to the front of the classroom and let class know that these students are now seeds. Pretend to plant the seeds close together and have the students stand side by side with their shoulders touching. Let the class know that the seeds are now growing leaves and roots, ask the students to lift up and extend their arms, like leaves, and spread out their feet, like roots. Ask the students if these plants have enough room to grow.

Repeat this demonstration with more space between seeds and have the students go through the same motions.

Classroom Activity

Divide students into groups and assign each group a Planting String space (1” apart, 2” apart, or 3” apart)

Pass out the Planting String supplies: scissors, beads, straws, ruler, and yarn or lace

Show students the example Planting String and let students know they will be making their own Planting String to use in the Learning Garden. The Planting Strings will assure we plant our seeds with enough space!

Instruct students to cut their straw to their assigned Planting String space then tie a knot at the end of the yarn or lace.

Students should string a bead, then straw, then another bead for the entire length of the yarn or string. Instruct students to tie a knot at the end of the Planting String when they are finished.


Have students share out key parts of today’s discussion and review the Activity Outcomes.

Students should clean-up the classroom as needed.

Follow up this activity with Big Green’s planting and watering activities!