With school out for the rest of the school year, are you looking for ways to entertain your kids? Here are some plant projects that are both fun and educational.
Cut the tops off carrots (not baby-cut carrots) leaving about a one-inch stump. Place the stump in a saucer of water, near a bright window and in only a week or two you will grow a little forest of carrot tops–yes, carrot tops are edible—carroty/parsley-like in flavor and good sautéed or thrown into soups or stocks.
Place sweet potato, root ends down in a glass of water, covering the bottom half of the tuber. Place in a sunny window and, in a few weeks, a beautiful green vine will appear. Even though it will last only a few months indoors, at that time, it can grow long enough to vine around the window.
If you do this in March, however, you can detach the little shoots when they’re about six inches tall (around May) and plant them outside—and grow real sweet potatoes. Allow plenty of room and harvest when the prolific vines begin to die down in the fall.
Remove several seeds from any citrus fruit and plant in a seed starting soil mix with about a half-inch of soil covering. Keep moist and place in a sunny window. It will take several weeks before little seedlings appear. Separate the seedlings and pot each into its own pot. Keep in a very sunny spot.
Fill jars or glasses with water and add three or four drops of food coloring. Place a celery stalk (or white carnation) in each jar. After a few days, the colored water will tint the celery stalk or carnation.
Save an avocado seed and place toothpicks around the middle to make little spokes. Set the seed in a glass of water, letting the spokes sit on the rim of the glass. Make sure water always touches the bottom of the seed. It can take a month or longer for the seed to sprout. Once it has sprouted and produced both roots and leaves, you can then transplant to a small pot – leaving the top of the seed exposed to the light.
Cut the top off of a ripe pineapple. Peel off the bottom layers of leaves until you have a 1” stem. Place in a cup of water just to cover the stem. Change water weekly. Keep in a moderately bright window. When roots appear, pot into a clay pot. After about three years, get in touch with us to find out how to get your pineapple plant to make another pineapple.
Start seeds indoors
Seeds for herbs, for example, will grow in a sunny window and you get to enjoy the fragrance almost right away. Basil, mint, and oregano seeds sprout fairly quickly and grow well.
Have your kids help you plan a hummingbird and butterfly garden. They can research which plants will attract hummingbirds and butterflies and help plant the seeds. Or they can help to plan and plant a vegetable garden. Sometimes they’re more inclined to eat things they have helped to grow.
Decorate clay pots
Give your kids clay pots and some colored markers. Have them draw faces on the pots. Plant grass seed (cat grass or wheatgrass works well for this) for “hair.” While they have their markers out, let them also color popsicle sticks for pretty homemade plant markers.
While feeding the birds isn’t a growing project, birds are certainly important to any garden, so attracting them to your yard is beneficial. Kids can make or hang out bird feeders and begin a catalog of what varieties of birds they see.
Let Your Kids Have Fun and Help Mother Nature!
Whichever project your children try, they will enjoy the sense of accomplishment–and so will you!
Stop by the Great Big Greenhouse (yes! we are open and here for you!) and pick up the supplies you need for projects to keep your kids occupied and excited about learning to have fun by helping Mother Nature shine.