Begin this lesson with this activity.

Many people like to grow plants. Plants are grown for food, medicine, and even cosmetics. It can also be a relaxing activity. Growing plants from seeds could be extremely satisfying and rewarding. It is quite easy to grow seeds. Here is how you can grow a plant from a seed.

Choose a container with drainage holes. It can be plastic pots, cell packs, peat pots, plastic flats, yogurt cups, even eggshells. Just make sure it has enough space for all the seedlings.

Use quality soil. Prepare the container for planting by mixing manure and topsoil. Once you place it in the container, wet the soil with water before you add the seeds.

Place seeds or seedlings into the container. Cover seeds with soil equal to three times their thickness. However read the seed packet planting instructions carefully. Some seeds, such as lettuces, need light to germinate and should be place on the soil surface.

Then use a spray bottle to water the soil after planting again. Keep the soil moist, but do not overwater as it could kill the seedlings.

Once the the seed starts sprouting, do not splash water on the leaves. Just keep the soil warm and moist.

Fertilize your plant after the second set of true leaves. The strength of the fertilizer should be half strength. After four weeks, apply full strength every other week until it is transplant.

Give the seedlings enough light, a seedling need 14-16 hours of direct light for healthy growth. If it is bending that is a sure sign it is not getting enough light. Thus you may have to use artificial light. “Harden off” seedling to get it use to the harsher surroundings, before transplanting.


Gardening Tools

Whether you are growing for food, or medicine, or enjoyment, you will need some tools. The most common tools are a wheelbarrow, a spade, garden fork, rake or other long handled tool. Use the tools rather than your hands. You may get injured with sharp objects and debris buried in the soil.

A tool shed is a good place to store gardening tools and keep them away from children.
When you finish using any gardening tool, return them to the shed or place them in a place out of people way.
Secure the tools when in use. Place tools where it is upright and visible.
Note, you should be careful when carrying gardening tools around. Larger tools should be dragged.
Gloves can help you reduce blistering and protect the skin from
fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria and fungus that live in the soil.
Gardeners need other equipment to keep them safe.
Proper gear are safety goggles, sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeve shirt, hat and even sunscreen.
Some garden machinery can be loud.
The operator will have to protect his ears and eyes from the noise and flying objects.
All sharp tools should be kept away from children. When electrical tools are not in use, unplug the tools.

Now that you are family with the usefulness of gardening tools you can now move on to caring for plants.

Caring for Plants

Once you place your plants in a safe location, it will need sunlight and the right amount of water to grow healthy. You should not over-water your plants, as it can rot. Too little water causes the plants to wither (or dry up) and die. Also, keep the plants free from pest and add fertilizer when needed. Make sure the soil has enough nutrients for the plant.

Manure and compost is a great way to provide plants with nutrients.
Above is a picture of granular fertilizers. There are also liquid fertilizers.

Link to poem and worksheets for “The Little Plant” Young children will enjoy dramatizing this poem.