Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tire Gardens!

Even if you have room for a real garden at your house, the kids will love a special spot to call their own. You can accomplish this by picking up a couple old car tires that can be "all theirs!"

The idea with this project is for kids to learn where their food comes from and to be able to actually plant little seeds and watch them grow. Kids are fascinated with the entire process!

To make this project even more fun, pick up an old tire (one for each child, if you have the room). The tires can be spray painted colors like bright yellow and then the kids can personalize them with paint pens or acrylic paints. Let the tire dry overnight before planting.

Note: These tires are stacked just so you have an idea of what we’re doing… double tires are not necessary for planting :-)

I suggest that you take the kids to pick out their seeds. Just make sure that it makes good sense and if it they want to grow watermelons, keep in mind that is all the tire will hold! Grins... 

You might want to consider letting the kids pick out one type of plant that is already growing as well as some seeds. They can plant the seeds on one side of the tire and plant the seedlings on the other side. Another fun suggestion is for them to plop a whirly gig in with their plants, making it look like a real garden!

By the way, you can get almost everything at one of the dollar stores for this project!

Here's what you're going to need for this project:
Old car tire(s)
Various paints for decorating and personalizing the tire
Potting soil
Seeds and seedlings
Little plastic water can
Garden gloves (optional)

All righty... here we go... place the tire in a spot that gets plenty of sunshine. Fill the tire with soil all the way to the top. Pack the soil firmly... let them get their hands in the dirt! Explain that the soil can't be packed down really hard as their won't be any air in there. Also, you want the soil to be loose to cover the seeds.

Read the seed packet instructions together as how deep to plant the seeds and how far apart... I wouldn't worry about the "how far apart" part of it... just let them plant the seeds! Let them use their finger and draw a line in the soil for a "row" to plant their seeds... no, it doesn't matter if the row isn't straight! Let the kids do this, k? Make sure they don't plant the seeds too deep. 

Now let them cover the seeds and gently pat the top... keyword is gently! Have them use their hands to dig little holes to plant the seeds and seedlings. Then they can use their little plastic watering can. Make sure they don’t drown the seeds :-)

Don’t be surprised is they check their tire garden every hour for a couple of days… 

Let me know how your tire garden grows!

Happy Gardening with Kids,
Jan McCracken, Culinary & Gardening Coach for Kids

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