BY BETH BECKMAN | www.lilkidbigcity.com
April is Nation Gardening Month, and spring has sprung! What better way to celebrate the season of growing and gardening than to have children gather some friends to plant and grow their very own garden. This fun project is an enjoyable and rewarding way to learn about seeds and how they grow. The project also plants the seed for the love of healthy foods, and nourishes a future love of gardening.
Egg carton gardens are perfect projects for children. The simplicity of this project is great – as it can be done with household materials, and can be grown in the smallest of spaces, apartments or any urban environment.
A bonus, the egg carton container serves two purposes – as a great separator for the seeds into planting pods, and a first-hand lesson in recycling.
- Repurposed Egg Carton
- Pop Sticks
Cut off the top of the egg carton at the hinge. Carefully place soil into the container, distributing evenly between the compartments.
Pack the soil gently to ensure it has fully filled the compartments.
Seed Discovery! We chose a vegetable medley for our garden that included green beans, summer squash, baby carrots, radishes and cucumbers. We also added seeds for our favorite summer fruit friend – watermelon.
Remove the seeds from the packet. Children will love this part – as the seed look and size is always a surprise! Learning about the different seed textures and colors is a wonderful exploratory and sensory lesson.
Time to play in the mud! Have your little one gently poke holes into the soil within each compartment. This hole gives the seeds a space to be placed for growing.
Distribute the seeds equally in the holes. We suggest 3-5 seeds per compartment, depending on the vegetable variety. (Be sure to always check the individual seed packets for growing directions.) Gently push the soil over the seeds until they are completely covered.
Labeling the plants! Use a pencil to write the plant names on the wooden sticks. This will make it easy to identify the seeds later as they start to grow!
Lightly water and place in a sunny location. The magic happens fast – expect to see little sprouts in a matter of days. Children will love to watch the seeds grow! For added fun – have children keep a daily journal, recording the height and growth of the plants.
Once the seedlings are 3-4 inches tall (or 3 weeks old) transplant to a sunny location in a garden or large container.
Such a fun weekend project for friends! Nothing better than seeing children learn and explore together.
The fun continues – check back soon as we replant the seedlings into a garden.