Wikijunior:The Little Gardener
The Little Gardener
What kind of plant would you like to grow?
The Little Gardener is for children ages 8 through 12.
What you need before getting started
A seed is the part of a plant that can grow into a new plant. A seed needs air, water, and warmth to grow, or sprout from its shell. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors; just like the plants that grow out of them! Some are very small, like the Chamomile seed, and some are very large, like the Butterbean seed.
Where can I get seeds?
Seeds can usually be found in supermarkets, gardening stores, and from plants around your neighborhood. If you are going to buy them in a store, they are usually found in little packets or loose in containers. Some are easy to get from the plants themselves, like fruit, which have a lot of seeds in them.
Many seeds like being planted inside, to protect them from a cold night, bugs, or hungry animals. But once the plant has sprouted, it likes to be replanted outside. If it is cold in spring, or even too hot, it may be hard for you to grow plants outdoors. Also, most plants like to begin growing in the springtime, but some can grow anytime during the year as long as your home is warm.
Choosing the right seed may be hard to do. You want to find one which will grow in your area, and ones which match your experience level. Some plants only need to be watered, some need more care.
Soil, or dirt, is made from tiny rocks, minerals, and very tiny pieces of living matter. It is what you will bury the seed in so that the seed can sprout.
What kind of soil should I get?
Just like there are different types of plants, there are different types of soils to grow them in. For most seeds, using seed-starting soil will work well because it is rich and fluffy. You can also use fertilizer, or create your own mixture. Most seeds need soil that is loose so that they can grow, but also, strong enough that their roots can anchor to the soil when it has sprouted.
A planting pot is used to hold the soil. You can think of it like the walls in your home, but for the seed to grow in.
Which pot should I use?
If you are planting your seeds inside, you will need a container to put the soil into. As long as it is big enough to support the growing seed, you can use it. You can use an empty can, or you can buy a pot.
There are several types of pots you can use for planting the seed. If you are keeping your plant inside, a strong and sturdy pot will work. If you are going to move your plant outside after it sprouts, you can buy a pot that will break down when the pot is planted in dirt. These kind of pots are biodegradable. There are also trays of little containers called a seed starting tray which work well for planting a lot of seeds at once.
Want to grow more than one plant at a time? Are you unsure about how much to water the little seeds? Are you worried about the plants having enough light if they are growing inside? Don't want to get your hands dirty?
There are a few more things which you might need to have to grow your plants. Click here to see other helpful tools and items.