It’s never too early to teach your kids where their food comes from and how it grows. Life lessons that incorporate dirt? You know they’ll be down for that! It can be easy to garden with your kids and get them excited to watch the progress throughout the growing season. With these simple steps, you can start a garden with your family and harvest the benefits.You need a few things to get started, including peat pots, peat pellets, potting soil, a grow lamp, a heating pad, seeds, and a hand trowel.
Using peat pots and pellets will help with foolproof growth for starting seeds. Friedman’s has everything you’ll need to create the perfect environment for your new plant germination. Depending on the starter kits you buy, the instructions may vary. With peat pellet kits, pellets are soaked in the pan for about 15 minutes in order to re-hydrate and get ready for planting.
After the pellets are hydrated, carefully peel open the tops by tearing the fabric. Dig a hole using your finger and drop a few seeds in. Remember that different seeds will have different instructions, so be sure to consult the seed packet for details. When all of your seeds are planted and labeled, cover the tray with the dome that comes with the kit.
For the best results and faster germination, place the tray on a heating pad to keep the soil warm. Also use a grow light about three inches from the dome cover. With the fluorescent light source and warmed soil, the conditions are perfect for seed growth. The amount of light needed will depend on the plants you choose, so again simply consult the seed packet.
If you don’t want to deal with heating pads and grow lights, you can start plants in peat pots and potting mix. Follow the same steps to plant the seeds, then provide your new pots with plenty of water and place them in a warm, sunny area.
Indoor germination takes about 6-8 weeks before your new plants are ready for transplant. When you’re selecting what seeds to grow, be sure to consider your growing zone and season. Your healthy plants will begin to outgrow your indoor garden and with peat pots and kits, transplanting is as easy as placing the pods into their new outdoor home. Tear off the fabric bottom on the pot, dig a hole the depth you need, and plant the whole thing.
With water, sunlight and occasional weeding, your kids can watch their plants thrive and grow. All of the steps are easy for a child of almost any age with adult supervision. By letting them select the plants and take ownership of their new garden, you can teach them a valuable lesson about farming and food, while letting them have fun outside and get a little messy! For more fun kid-friendly lessons and activities, check out our KidsWork classes and seminars.