Need ideas

plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)November 19, 2008

I started a little gardening monster in my granddaughter, Jordan. She LOVES to garden and cannot understand why we cannot go outside and plant today. (She turned 4 today). She told me the garden is empty and waiting for new "planets". I tried to explain that we had to wait until the snowmen are all gone before we can plant outside again.

Yesterday we repotted some houseplants which made her happy but I am looking for other ideas that we can do over the next couple months until it is time to start plants for next spring. I plan on WSing but she won't be able to see any new plants for a long time. Any ideas on what we can do now to help her keep her green thumb going?


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Have you sorted out what you will be winter sowing? If so, or not, maybe look up all the wonderful things the 2 of you will be wintersowing and growing next year. Show her the Romeo tomatoes. I forgot to add, in that pic, that the tomatoes were on the 'dinner' sized Corelle Plate.

If she didn't get it for her birthday, you might get her one of the bulb forcing kits with some paperwhites, or a hyacinth bulb forcing vase.

Could you try rooting some dormant cuttings from shrubs or berries maybe?


Here is a link that might be useful: How to force a hyacinth

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:36AM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

Oh I didn't think of forcing the hyacinth bulbs. Thanks for the idea. We did pot up the tulips and daffs you sent earlier this year to bring inside to cheer up the winter days but I think the hyacinth bulbs are a great idea since she will see results quicker.

I also like the idea of sorting through the seeds we are planning on WSing...we can look them up online and maybe print them out so she will see what will grow in the containers. I think if I cover the pictures with clear contact paper we might be able to use them as labels attached to the jugs.

As always Sue, you have great ideas.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:47AM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

She sure does! Great ideas Sue! ;)

If you run out of projects maybe a small indoor light set up? They don't cost much to purchase,I have 4 shop lights and it only made my bill go up around $11 a month,that is at 12-16 hours a day running. So one set wouldn't do much to your bill,but could really take away the blues and calm the restlessness. You girls could start somethings that you are anxious to grow and that are slow growers. Lion's Tail behaved itself very nicely in the unit and didnt go crazy until I put it in the ground. Herbs could be started to use through the winter.Bulb seeds,(anything bulb like,tubers, rhizomes,ect..),grow nicely under lights also. They can be winter sown too of course.

Also maybe have her paint some pots for next year,chalk paint with a coat of clear coat does pretty well on plastic. Jordan could paint up some originals for you! Of course, gloves and old clothing,would be a good idea! ;)

Here are some links with loads of ideas!

A bunch of good ideas

Another good one

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:55PM
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For the wintersowing, make sure you plant some really early to sprout items. Lettuce is always the first for me in March. Things in the cabbage family sprout very early. I'm trying to think of early flowers. I remember African Daisies(dimorphotheca) though not sprouting super early, were in bloom at the beginning of May. I'm sure others can remember early sprouters.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:11PM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

These are all great ideas. Thanks and keep them coming. We have lots of herbs growing in pots under a grow light in the basement. I think maybe we will try some leaf lettuce as well.

I like a lot of the craft ideas and will see what we can come up with.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 7:33PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

I got so caught up in ideas,I forgot to mention a Happy Birthday to Jordan! The big 4.... Woo Hoo! :)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:20PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Me too....Sending a Belated happy Birthday to Jordan.

If you don't already have, what about a variety of bird feeders and different varieties of bird seed, or making some seed covered pines cones with peanut butter? Do you have binoculars for birding, and bird books for looking them up?

The book listed below is a great little field guide that is easy to use.

You might check out all the sites found via a search for Homemade bird feeders

Here is a link that might be useful: A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:21AM
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jaleeisa(6b Oklahoma)

Not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet, but amending the soil and working leaves down into it have helped keep my boys going through colder weather. When they were younger,we would talk about how happy the earthworms were going to be with a nice warm blanket of leaves, and that they enjoy the extra "snacks" and will help make our gardens rich and ready for the new plants after wintersowing. They enjoyed spreading the leaves, coffee grounds,kitchen clippings and adding more topsoil and turning it all. LOL, how often do they get to throw leaves, food and dirt around?

Another idea might be to get her a mini Norfolk Pine, I know our Wal~Mart has them for under $5 and she could grow her own personal Christmas Tree!

We also look through online or paper seed catalogs and decide what to plant for wintersowing and the following spring. We make garden plans. Sometimes the kids want a special seed and they save their money and get to order them. And continuing to seed swap this winter will help lots too! They are really excited about still getting seeds in the mail from "Garden Buddies" across the country!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:54AM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

It is so funny that you mentioned digging in the leaves Kathy. I had Jordan over today for a couple hours and she told me she "NEEDED" to dig. I let her bury some kitchen scraps. Jordan is growing a pine seedling in a pot and maybe I will bring it in for a few days near Christmas and let her make some paper decorations for it. It is about 18" tall now.

Sue, the bird idea is great. They have a large bush type thing growing in the middle of their yard that would be a good place for her to hang various feeders. We don't do feeders in my neighborhood since we had a huge problem with pigeons a couple years ago (so my neighbor's tell me) but they have no such problems that I now about at their mobile home.

I'll send Jordan your belated Birthday wishes at her party on Sunday...she is having a lot of fun this year as she has celebrated at preschool, home and now on Sunday a family party. Hopefully, she doesn't expect her Bday to be like this every year LOL.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:39PM
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How about getting her a Chia pet? Or two! Let her tend to the little critters as the winter wears on. It's not exactly digging, but it's still growing. You could also get her a small compost bucket or worm farm so that she can have her own little compost gig going on indoors (it would be fun for her to "feed" her worms). You might get her some garden-themed coloring books to pacify her need to see flowering plants over the winter. For her birthday, you could surprise her with a children's garden tool set (if she doesn't already have one) so she can be like grandma this spring in the garden!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:16AM
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How about a couple of tomato plants like Micro Tom, Tiny Tim, or Totem? They can be grown in small pots in a window and she will have some eating to do at harvest.

My grandchildren liked the idea of reaping the rewards of their efforts and it also taught them some patience with Mother Nature.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 12:05PM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

Never thought of a Chia pet...great idea. I just have to convince her it is not a "baby" as is everything else she owns right now or she doesn't pet it all the time so it loses its hair LOL.

I'll have to check and see if I can find any of those tiny tomatoes.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 12:54AM
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i think i've seen you in the hummingbird forum, am i right? LOL
you two could look up some of the plants/flowers for the hummingbirds, and plant them in the pretty pots that Jordan dresses up! and then she could go ahead and plant the seeds of them. put them in the window sill and watch them grow. we are doing some of them now, just for kicks and grins or as talla say's, for her fairy's, they need more flowers. so right now her nasty's bulbs or seeds, instead of trading them, we just planted them. and they are growing beautifully. the room has no window just the bedroom light. but they do have her singing to all the plants on a daily basis, for the fairy's of course. LOL
"big smile" ~Medo P.S. Happy Birthday Jordan :')

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 2:48AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

The Red Robin tomato can be grown in a 6" pot I have read. You might try swapping for some on the Tomato Exchange page.

s...who is still planting bulbs and who has not forgotten your mater seeds

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Robin

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 12:24PM
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