Grow a Vegetable Garden
Growing a vegetable garden is something fun and educational for you
and your child. Watching a plant grow from a seed can be very exciting.
It's not very difficult either. The results of the T.L.C. you and your
child put into a garden will be very rewarding. If you don't have a large
area to grow a garden, don't worry. There are other options but you are
limited on what you can grow. (There is a classroom project below the
instructions for a home garden.)
Growing a garden at home
Items you will need:
- Large planting area
- Steer Manure
Check to see when is the appropriate time to plant. Most packages
of seeds will give you this information. You can even start early
by planting in a pot and keep it in the house until it is warm
enough to plant outdoors.
Prepare your soil. I recommend rotatilling, if it is a large
area. If you are planting in a small area, soak the soil the day
before and then turn the soil over using a pointed shovel.
Mix in fertilizer. There are all kinds of different soils and
fertilizers that you can put into the soil. I've even grown
vegetables without any fertilizer, but you will get healthier
and more productive plants if you choose to fertilize. We just
want to keep this simple and cheap, so just buy a bag of cow
manure to mix in.
Go to the local nursery or grocery store, or even buy your seeds
online. Figure out what kind of vegetables you would like to
grow. Some very easy and hearty vegetables to grow are:
Make rows and plant your seeds. If you have prepared your soil
right, you should be able to easily stick your finger in the
ground to make a hole for the seed. Read the instructions on the
bag of seeds also to make sure how far the seed will need to go
into the ground.
Water your garden after planting, and daily. To make sure that
your garden will grow and produce great tasting vegetables, you
must water every day. This is a good responsibility for your
child to have.
When the garden has seedlings about a few inches high, put straw
on the ground to keep the weeds down and the moisture in.
This way if you forget to water for a day or two, your garden will
still have some moisture because the straw helps to keep it in.
Straw is very inexpensive. For a bale of straw you will pay about
$4.00, depending on where you go. Some feed stores might have
some extra laying around and let you just take a bag full.
Pesticides...use only if you absolutely have to. Ask your local
nursery which ones will be best for your garden. I try not to
use any. But if you are losing your crop to insects, you have no
When the time is right, and after a few months of watering and
waiting, you will be able to harvest your vegetables. Hopefully
you will have plenty of vegetables to enjoy in good health.
Items you will need:
- One small pot for each child
- Potting soil
- Popsicle sticks
Growing a garden in the classroom will be fun for the kids.
Kids love to play in the dirt, so this will be great for them.
I recommend providing 3 or 4 different kinds of seed for them to
choose what they would like to grow. You can use this as a farm
theme in the classroom.
You may either let the children take them home after you see
seedlings, or elect to plant them into a larger pot or trough and
keep them to chart when they begin to produce vegetables.
Make a chart on how long it takes for the seed to become a seedling,
to see sprouts, to see them bloom with flowers, and to go from flowers
to vegetables. To do this you will:
- Provide each child with the above items
- Have the children paint the pots and put their names on them
- Let the child select which vegetable they would like to grow
- Write the name of that vegetable on the popsicle stick
- Fill each pot with soil so that it is half full
- Place seed on soil and cover the seed with 1 inch of soil
- Water the seed
- Place the popsicle stick into the pot
- Place the pots in a sunny area, water daily and watch them grow