Starting Seeds with Children

| 3/18/2014 10:24:00 AM

Tags: spring, seed starting, gardening with children, Mary Lou Shaw, Ohio,

Seedlings in homemade containerIn our busy world, many of us yearn for more quality time with our children and grandchildren. It may feel difficult to compete with electronic devises for their time and attention. Perhaps that’s why we overlook the simplest of things, the things that could be both fun and intriguing for all ages. I’m suggesting we begin with seeds.

A seed looks so simple. But when put in soil indoors and cared for, it grows into a little plant that is dependent upon our nurturing. After planting it outdoors in May, we are able to harvest food from it in the summer. That’s an ongoing adventure that computers can’t compete with!

If you’re thinking that you’ve not done this before and therefore can’t teach it, I disagree. Learning things together with children creates a powerful relationship. This is true whether the child is four or 14 years-old. Besides, I’m going to give you the basics here so you can’t fail!

Late March is the time to begin seeds indoors in Ohio. The seedlings will be ready to plant outdoors after the May 10th frost-free date.

Getting Started

Soil: “Starting soil” can be bought in small amounts and is now available in local stores. A seed-starting mix is light and fluffy. It is also sterile to prevent fungal infections that cause “dampening off” of seedlings.

Containers: Individual containers, like paper or Styrofoam cups, work fine for beginning a few plants. Just be sure to create drainage holes at the bottom. Toilet paper tubes also work and have the advantage of being available and biodegradable. A container that easily breaks down allows you to plant little seedlings directly in the garden, pot and all.

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