Jump-start Spring with Your Children by Growing Seeds
keep the plants watered will start your children down the gardening path. They will be counting down the days until they can transplant their sprouts into the backyard or a pot on the stoop, porch, balcony or patio. With spring just around the corner, try some other fun indoor activities with your family: * What is growing in my greenhouse? While seedlings are busy growing into big, strong plants, take your children on a tour of a local market, flower shop or library to research what they are growing at home. For example, if you plant peppers, head over to the fresh produce department and purchase several different pepper varieties. Have your children taste, feel, and smell each kind to familiarize themselves with the vegetables and learn about the different varieties. * Have a fun art day. Work with your
or children anticipating the barefoot season, the spring may seem an end- less march of rainy days and almost
winter-like weeks. If your children are ready to jump-start spring inside, and are searching for some- thing that sparks their imaginations, starting beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables from seed is a great beginning. The Miracle-
Gro Kids Gardening Kits are an easy edu- cational way for your children to tend and nurture plants, watch the seeds germinate, spread roots and grow toward the sun. This is the perfect opportunity for your
children to get their hands dirty. Simply mixing the Miracle-Gro Gro-Mix supplied, water and a seed, covering the pots with the greenhouse lid, and remembering to
children to diagram where they will trans- plant their flowers and vegetables into the backyard on paper with crayons, stickers and other art supplies. If they are a little bit older, ask them to measure the size of your flower bed or vegetable plot, and help them convert the size into a smaller design. Add the vegetables and flowers you would like to grow as well. Find books at the library that discuss the benefits and consequences of planting different types of plants next to one another. Having these diagrams will
Revitalize Your Lawn after a Long Winter
need be. For lawns that took a particularly harsh beating over the winter, consider seeding the lawn to help revi- talize it. When seeding a lawn, be sure you choose the right seeds. Different regions respond better to different types of grass. But don’t be intimidated if you don’t know the correct grass to choose. Simply ask a landscaper or consult a lawn care specialist at a nearby home improve- ment center as to which type of grass is the best fit your region and your yard. When you’re read to seed, the seed can be scattered
by hand for smaller yards, or with a drop spreader for larger lawns. When spreading with a drop spreader, use the suggested amount of seed on the bag (even a little less seed should do the trick) and make sure you spread out the rows evenly in the same direction. Once you’ve sowed the first part of your lawn in one direction, you can crisscross back over that part at a 90- degree angle, making sure you keep equal distance and cali- brate your spreader at the same speed. * Add mulch for
very spring, homeowners head outside to take stock of how the winter treated their lawn. Homeowners in areas that experience heavy snow or rainfall each winter likely do not look forward
to this inventory, fearful of what another harsh winter did to their property. Fallen tree branches, frozen ground and winter wind storms can do a number on even the most well-manicured lawns, turning a summertime labor of love into a nightmare. While homeowners might not be able to do anything about the
weather, there are ways to revitalize a lawn each spring. And you don’t have to be an accomplished landscaper to handle the task. The following tips can help bring your luscious lawn back to life, helping make winter a distant memory. * Remove all debris from your
yard. Debris includes any trash in the yard, wood, large roots, fallen branches, and even stones. The presence of trash such as broken glass or even faded paper prod- ucts such as cups or bags is not only unsafe for the environment, but it can prove harmful to any- one who might be out in the yard once your grass grows, especially if you have children. Oftentimes, winter winds can blow trash from nearby garbage cans across the yard, no matter how neatly hom- eowners put out their trash. * Smooth the soil. Once all
debris been removed, examine the soil for any abnormalities that might need to be smoothed out. Use a spade or rake to smooth any areas that aren’t up to par. Next you’ll want to loosen the soil as well, something that can be done with a garden rake. Any unsightly areas, such as humps or ditches, should either be smoothed out or filled in, depending on which is appropriate. This can be done with some soil and should not prove too costly. * Consider seeding the lawn if
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make it easy for your children to find the perfect place to put their sprouts once the time arrives for transplanting. * Experiment in the kitchen. Children
love to play and experiment with food, so invite them to investigate recipes that will incorporate some of the vegetables and flowers they may be growing. For example, pansies and nasturtiums are tasty and work well as edible decorations on desserts, sal- ads or in fruity drinks. If your children like lasagna, find a recipe that includes those peppers they are growing. You can help them develop a recipe memory book based on their greenhouse gardens, complete with photos of them planting the seeds, journals of the care they gave the plants and the final recipes using the ingredients they grew with their own two hands. * Rainy day exploration. Go to Miracle- grokidsgardening.com
and explore the many projects and activities the gardening experts at Scotts have designed with your kids in mind. Try making one of the great kids’ recipes or print out some of the fun learning activities for a fun way to explore gardening even in the rain. Getting your hands dirty with your chil- dren inside is the best way to start spring just a little bit early this year. Your family will love watching the development of the vegetables and flowers they started inside.
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