MINNEAPOLIS — First up on the list of things to do is seed starting. It's an easy project that brings the real reward of flowers or herbs or veggies!
What you need: Takeout container, potting soil, seeds, water
- Takeout containers make excellent mini-greenhouses. Make sure they're clean.
- Fill with good quality potting soil and gently pat down.
- Use your finger to make little holes for seeds. Generally space them 1" to 2" apart but don't stress. This is meant to be fun!
- Pop a seed into each hole. You can choose any seed you'd like, but big ones that grow fast are good options for kids' little fingers. Peas, beans, cucumber, nasturtiums, zinnias and melons are a few great options.
- Cover the seed with a little more soil.
- Water enough so the soil is damp all the way through, but not soaking wet. A watering can works for the big seeds, but if you plant something with very small seeds, a spray bottle is great to keep the little seeds form floating away to the edges of the container.
- Close up the container and keep in a sunny window. If it's bright outside and above 50 degrees, go ahead and set it out in the sunlight. Just be sure to bring it back in overnight.
- Keep the soil moist by adding more water as needed. In a week or so, your seeds will start to pop up!
- Eventually you can remove the top and transplant your seedlings into a garden or a bigger pot. Have fun!
Next up: Re-growing vegetables and fruits from kitchen scraps.
You can do this with a whole list of fruits and veggies like onions, carrots, celery, pineapple and garlic. We think romaine lettuce is easiest.
What you need: small cup or jar, water, romaine lettuce heel
- This first step is an adult job. Use a sharp knife to shave a bit of the stem off.
- Place stem side down in a jar and add water - enough to submerge the stem.
- Set out of direct sunlight and change the water every day or two.
- Watch your lettuce regrow!
And finally: A good ol' fashioned standby when it comes to kids gardening activities. A homemade bird feeder.
What you need: toilet paper tube, peanut butter, knife for spreading, bird seed, string for hanging
- Cut a piece of string about as long as a kids arm and loop it through the toilet paper tube. Tie a knot to make a loop for hanging.
- Spread a thin layer of peanut butter all over to completely cover the toilet paper tube.
- Sprinkle seeds to cover the peanut butter and gently press to help them stick.
- Hang in a tree for your feathered friends to enjoy!