Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gardening With Children - Planting Seeds

Many of us have, somewhere back in our brains, the memory of planting marigold seeds in a paper cup. It seems to be the classic project for elementary school teachers in the spring! And for good reasons! Children love to see things grow and marigold seeds grow quickly and easily!

I planted marigold seeds with our children earlier this month. We planted them in egg cartons filled with potting soil. I have no photos of the event, and if you've ever tried planting seeds with three youngsters, you'll understand why! We covered the seeds with a piece of plastic wrap and set it on the refrigerator as a warm place to germinate. Once they popped through the ground, I took of the plastic and placed them on the window sill. The marigolds were growing well, until our baby was born and I forgot all about them. Once I remembered, they were quite a sorry sight! Only about one fourth of the seedlings survived the neglect!

By now, you probably know that I love sharing nature related projects with my children. The marigolds are only the first of my plans for the summer! Even if you are not a gardener, if you have children in your life, hopefully I can encourage you to get a few seeds for them to watch grow!

Here is a few ideas! All these seeds are super simple to grow! Marigolds can be started indoors and all the others should be planted directly into the garden in May.

Marigolds - Perfect for starting indoors in a paper cup
Nasturtium - Very large seeds great for small hands. The flowers can even be eaten! Add some color to your salad!
Sunflower - Everyone loves sunflowers! They come in many different sizes. Plant a tall variety and take a photo each week of your child with their sunflower!
Cosmos - A tall flower with satiny soft petals.
Zinnias - I don't think a garden is complete without a row of zinnias! A great cutting flower!

Flowers are not the only option! Many vegetables are fun to plant as well! If your child is helping to plant, make sure the seeds have not been treated with poisons.

Pumpkins - Fun to plant, fun to watch, fun to pick!
Zucchini - Let one zucchini grow to baseball bat size just for fun!
Vines - Pole beans, pole lima, or flowering vines such as moon vine, or hyacinth bean vine are fun to grow if you have a fence, pole or trellis for them to climb up! Our children spent hours last summer, picking and shelling the beans on our hyacinth bean vine just for fun!

You can find a seed rack at about any grocery store this time of year! Next time you walk by, think of the fun your children could have this summer watching "their" plants grow!

1 comment :

  1. I enjoyed this post and it gave me some ideas for what to plant with my children.


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