Good shape, poor shape, the kids have discovered all kinds of shapes in their garden this week, especially when it comes to leaves. They’re long, short, ragged, smooth, small, wide, narrow… Well, you get the idea. Brussels sprouts tend toward the round side.
Oval with a point as in oregano. Pepper plants share this shape (but it’s too cold for those at the moment).
Then there’s everybody’s favorite—pumpkin! Shapely, curvy, angles and points.
Carrot is quite distinctive in its shape and not to mention quite helpful to know. Our carrots are quite tiny right now and it works in our favor that the kids know which ones to pull (weeds) and which ones to leave be.
But not all vegetable leaves are treated equal. The students learned that sometimes, the first leaves you see sprout are not the familiar ones you’re looking for, as in the squash family.
The first two oval-shaped, followed by the more shapely ragged-edged leaves. But the first two are not “true leaves.” They are called cotyledons. The cotyledons are actually a part of the seed, and act as a food source for the sprouting seedling. Baby lettuce leaves look like hearts before they become ruffle-edged. Broccoli look like this as first, too.
So know before you grow what your leaves will look like—especially before you weed. Don’t want to pull any precious veggies out before their time!!