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When the Adult Is a Beginner, Too:

Yardstick Garden



Wooden yardstick | 2-3 bags of compost

Enough concrete blocks to form a 36" square

If you're planting April 1: seeds for leaf lettuce and radishes, and pansy seedlings

If you're planting after May 15: bush bean seeds, a green pepper seedling, and zinnia seeds

Pole or cage to support the green pepper plant

Large craft sticks and permanent marker for labels

Watering can with a "rose" so it'll sprinkle | plant fertilizer such as Miracle Gro


So you want to garden with a child or a group of children, but you have zero gardening experience? Not to worry! Here's a fun and simple starter project that gives kids a little practice with math and measurement, too.


Simply find a spot in full sun and measure a 36" square with the yardstick. Help the children line up the concrete blocks to form a square. Fill with compost. Older children might enjoy computing the cubic feet of compost that will fill that space, which is figured by multiplying the length times the width times the height of the concrete block "wall."


Then follow spacing instructions on the seed packets or seedling stakes. Have the children write labels on the craft sticks to keep track of the three plants in each square.


  Now have the children water in their seeds and seedlings with a gentle "rain" from the watering can - not drenching them, but sprinkling. Sprinkle every day. Once the seeds have sprouted, fertilize, according to package directions, usually every two weeks.


Help the children chart the days to harvest (bean pods appear, flower heads appear) and then enjoy the results together!


By Susan Darst Williams • • Themes 07 © 2012



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