Bob Ewing – A garden is where nature and civilization meet and work together to produce fragrant herbs, beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables. In the garden, synergy blossoms as two forces, all too often opposed, human and nature, meet and work together to produce a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. Where better to spend time with your children, learning, laughing and simply being.
If you live in an area, like I do, where the gardening season lasts about 90 days, it is necessary to learn how to start seeds indoors. Getting the garden growing weeks before the outdoor season begins can also be a fun and educational parent-child activity.
If you are new to gardening, then here is a basic activity that works well with young children. Beans are a marvelous plant; the seed is both what you eat and what you plant to grow more beans. When you are out shopping buy some bean seeds, just one pack, as you will only need two. In the spring seeds can often be purchased at a grocery store. They are usually set out on a display rack. Try and buy organic seeds if you can. Also pick up some organic potting soil.
You will also need four containers, ice cream or yogurt containers work fine. I use the 650 gram (about 24 oz) size. Punch three small holes in the bottom of one container and place it in a second container.
Let you child fill this container with the potting soil and then plant a bean seed in the centre of the pot about one-quarter inch deep, water, and place in a sunny location. Do the same with the other container and seed.
Check the container each morning to see if it needs water. You can tell by inserting the baby finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If it is dry, then add water. If you wish, you can keep a log, photos are good, on how the bean grows.
If you have a sunny spot outside where you wish to move the beans, then the ideal time to begin this project is three weeks before the last frost date in your area. Ask your local plant centre or call the local public library they can provide this date. Beans like warm soil.
You can remove the bean seedling from the container and place it in the ground, or you can transfer it to a larger container. Now you simply need to provide water if and when needed.
When buying your bean seeds for this project select the bush bean variety because they do not need a support to grow. Next week, how to start tomato, cucumber and green pepper seeds indoors.