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Growing plants with your kids is a great activity that is both fun and educational. It's a great opportunity to teach them where the food we eat comes from and how it’s grown. After watching this video, you will learn some gardening skills and create memories that will last a lifetime.
It’s interesting these days when you ask a little kid where food comes from. Most of them think it’s the grocery store or their favorite restaurant. That’s when you know it’s probably time to get back to basics by planting some seeds and digging in the dirt. It’s a lot of fun to do with your kids, and it teaches them a valuable lesson about how food is grown.
Today, we’re going to show you how to explore the growing process with your kids. We’ll plant some seeds using a couple of foolproof methods. Then we’ll speed the growing process using a grow lamp and a heating pad. After the plants are healthy, and weather permitting, we’ll transplant our plants outside into the garden. So let’s get started.
The first thing to consider when planting seeds is picking a growing medium. We’ve picked up this peat pellet starter kit at our local independent home improvement retailer. It comes complete with a plastic cover to create an ideal environment for germination. You begin by adding 4 quarts of warm water to the pan. In about 15 minutes the pellets will be rehydrated and ready for planting.
When the peat pellets have soaked up all the water, peel open the tops of the pellets by tearing the fabric. Then, following the instructions on the seed packet, start a hole with your finger and drop a few seeds into each of the holes you’ve created. Be sure to label your tray with the type of plants you’re growing, then cover them with the plastic dome that comes with the kit.
For this growing method, we’ll be placing the plastic tray directly on a heating pad to keep the soil warm, then we’ll place it under a grow lamp, which will be our light source. These will help create the right conditions for seed germination. Make sure to lower the fluorescent light to a point about three inches above the dome. You’ll readjust the light as your plants continue to grow. How many hours of light your plants will need each day will depend on the specific type of plant you’re growing. Be sure to research this, or ask the experts at your local home improvement retailer.
For our next planting method we’ll be starting our seeds in some peat pots filled with seed starting potting mix. First we’ll fill the peat pots with the soil. Then, following the instructions on the seed packet, we’ll start a hole with our finger and drop a few seeds in each hole. Again, if you’re planting a garden variety, be sure to label your pots with the type of seeds you’ve planted.
Give them plenty of water to get started. Keep them covered and place them in a warm, sunny spot.
It will take a good 6 to 8 weeks growing indoors before they’ll be ready to be transplanted outdoors. Be sure to consult your growing zone for the proper times to start your plants and to get a general idea of when it’s OK to transplant them outside.
With proper nurturing, it doesn’t take long before you start to see the seeds germinate and grow. They get bigger and healthier with each passing week.
When your plants have reached a size where they are ready to be transplanted into your garden, the beauty of the peat pots and peat pellets is that you simply stick them in your well prepared garden bed, peat pot and all. Just tear out the bottom of the peat pot before planting. Then, dig a hole that is the proper depth for your plant, water it well and sit back and watch it grow.
There you have it … the makings of a backyard garden and kids who have a new appreciation for where the food we eat actually comes from. It’s a valuable lesson they’ll remember their entire lives.
Choose a growing medium for your seeds, such as a peat pellet kit or peat pots.
Add 4 quarts of warm water.
When the peat pellets have soaked up the water, open the tops by tearing the fabric.
Plant seeds according to instructions on the seed packet.
Label the trays with the plant name.
Cover with a plastic dome.
Keep the seeds warm. One option is using a heating pad or a lamp. They can also be placed by a window.
Provide a light source.
Once the plant gets big enough, transplant outside or into a bigger pot.