Hey, Kids, Grow a Plant! Make a Garden!
Here are some garden activities:
link-arrow-white Grow plants that require low maintenance, like cactus
link-arrow-white Grow plants that are pretty, like coleus
link-arrow-white Multiply plants by taking cuttings, rooting and then planting them like ivy, coleus, geranium
link-arrow-white Start flowers and vegetables from seeds you collect or buy like grapefruit or avocado, marigolds or sunflowers, beans or peas or from crowns like pineapple or eyes like (sweet) potato
link-arrow-white Force branches to bloom in winter
link-arrow-white Start bulbs indoors for early flowers like special varieties of tulip, hyacinth, daffodil
link-arrow-white Grow a seed through a cycle, like sunflower Plant, grow, harvest, dry, roast, eat(!)
link-arrow-white Plant a butterfly garden, or bird-friendly garden
link-arrow-white Plan activities around bugs and worms in the garden!
link-arrow-white Learn about insecticides and chemicals and their affect on the environment

What makes soil?

Activity: Take a large jar, at least a quart, and add some soil so that the bottom is completely covered with no glass showing.  Fill the jar with water and let stand for a day. 

Separation:
Now you will see these layers that make up soil,
bottom to top, by weight:

  • sand
  • silt
  • clay
  • organic matter:  the lightest floats on top!

How do I start a garden? 

Answer these questions:
Why do you want a garden?

Is it for flowers?
Do you want perennials?
They bloom only once in a growing season, and come back each year.
Do you want annuals?
They bloom continuously but die with the frosts of fall and winter

Is it for food?
Vegetables can help with your families food bill, and can taste better and fresher than store-bought! 
You can grow a "pizza garden," a "taco garden," an "eggroll garden"

Wherecan you garden?

Maybe there is a corner of your family's garden, or grandparent's garden,
or space in your yard?  Maybe there is a community garden?
It is best to look for a small space and grow it after a year of experience

Who can help you?

Start with your parents and grandparents, work with them to learn
There are also programs, classes and clubs (Minnesota 4-H club). 
They can show you how to first prepare the soil for planting, removing grass and weeds and their roots.
Things to ask about:
compost, mulch, germinating seeds, growing season, and much more!

What do you need?

Your garden space
A set of kid-friendly, smaller-sized garden tools

When do I garden?
A garden is a year-around project!

In winter we

  • Take care of house plants and indoor gardens
  • Plant and care for a terrarium 
  • Plan and dream about next year
  • Look back over our successes and even challenges of the past year
    (We learn from what doesn't work!)
  • Look through garden books, magazines, and seed catalogues for ideas
  • Make garden art, fences, supports, stepping stones, etc.

In late winter and spring we

  • Start seeds

In Spring, we

  • transplant perennials that bloomed in fall

In summer we

  • take care of the garden
  • visit other gardens for ideas

In late summer and fall we

  • Collect seeds from heirloom and favorite plants for next year
  • Take cuttings for rooting new plants
  • Dig up roots of plants to winter them, as
  • Dig up plants to winter them, as geraniums and coleus
  • Plant bulbs for next spring's flowers
  • Transplant spring-flowering plants for next year
 
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