Planting a Seed This Summer
Every seed has within, the blueprint for becoming something beautiful. If nurtured properly, the seed needs no instruction for growth. We gardeners must provide the right environment and nourishment, and then step back and let them grow.
“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seed may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.” —Maria Montessori
Summer is nearly here and our kids will be taking a break from the classroom. But they needn’t stop learning: here is an engaging, botanical project to help keep learning alive all summer. First you will need some inexpensive supplies:
- Paper, plastic or peat cups
- Seed starting soil
- Seeds of your choice; I recommend something hearty such as Sunflower or Pansy seeds.
- Spoons or small shovels
- Plastic wrap
- A spray bottle of water for misting
…and several weeks down the road, you will need:
- Clay pots: Look for pots at your local craft store. Children can decorate their pots before planting in them!
- Potting soil
Step #1: Planting the Seeds
- Let the kids fill the cup about 2/3rds full with the soil.
- Plant 2-3 seeds per cup.
- Press the seed just below the surface of the soil: about 1/4 inch deep.
- Mist the surface of the soil with the water bottle.
- Remember to guide the children, don’t do it for them!
Step#2: Caring for the Seeds and Seedlings:
- Cover the cups loosely with plastic wrap
- Keep them in a warm location. No direct sunlight yet!
- Keep them moist but not soaked.
- Check on them daily.
- When they sprout, they can be uncovered and moved into a sunny location.
Step #3: Replanting:
- When the seedlings have sprouted their 2nd set of leaves, it is time to replant.
- Help the children transfer each seedling to a clay pot (hopefully the one they have decorated for this occasion) filled an inch from the top with potting soil.
- Celebrate the “graduation “of your little seedling!
- Continue to encourage children to care for their flower or plant throughout the summer.