Learn­ing in the gar­den

Times Standard (Eureka) - - HOME + GAR­DEN - Terry Kramer

Get­ting out into the gar­den with the kids th­ese days can be quite an ed­u­ca­tional ad­ven­ture. It is a won­der­ful way to have fun and get some home school learn­ing done at the same time. Con­sider the fol­low­ing projects. They are sim­ple and quite in­ex­pen­sive.

Re­cy­cle: What can we do with all of those card­board toi­let pa­per tubes? Make trans­plant con­tain­ers out of them. They can be cut and filled with pot­ting soil. Sow seeds in them. When the seedlings are one to two inches tall, plant the tube and all into the veg­etable gar­den. There are plenty of YouTube videos show­ing how it is done.

Study roots and shoots: The scrap ends of cel­ery, broc­coli, as­para­gus, onion, car­rot and many oth­ers can eas­ily be rooted in jars of wa­ter. Kids get to see the roots form as well as the shoots. Once roots de­velop the en­tire plant can be planted in the veg­etable gar­den. This is a hot gar­den topic to Google th­ese days.

Grow beans: Try ger­mi­nat­ing scar­let run­ner beans in the toi­let pa­per tubes. Once sprouts are up a cou­ple of inches, plant out in a cir­cle in the gar­den. Take three to five eight-foot gar­den poles and tie them to­gether. The beans will climb the poles. Scar­let run­ner beans pro­duce an abun­dance of food quickly. Plus, the hum­ming­birds like the flow­ers.

Study plant anatomy: A quick and easy way for kids to study plant anatomy is to take a few dried beans out of the cup­board and germinate them be­tween lay­ers of moist pa­per tow­els. Once the beans sprout the child can iden­tify all the parts of the seed. This is quick and fun. Then, the sprouts can be planted into the toi­let pa­per tubes filled with soil for plant­ing out later on.

Grow some frogs: Prac­ti­cally ev­ery­one knows that frogs eat bugs, a lot of them. You can add more frogs to the gar­den by grow­ing your own. Right now, road­side ditches have plenty of Pa­cific tree frog tad­poles swim­ming about in the al­gae. Grab a few tad­poles and a big clump of al­gae. Put all in a large con­tainer of chlo­rine-free wa­ter. As the tad­poles grow they will re­quire more and more food. This is eas­ily ac­com­plished by boil­ing let­tuce leaves for 15 min­utes. Tad­poles will feed on this. When legs be­gin to show, take a long piece of tree branch and stick it in the con­tainer so the lit­tle frogs can climb out and into the gar­den.

Terry Kramer is the site man­ager for the Hum­boldt Botan­i­cal Gar­den and a trained hor­ti­cul­tur­ist and jour­nal­ist. She has been writ­ing a gar­den col­umn for the Times-Stan­dard since 1982. Con­tact her at ter­rykramer90@gmail.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.