Kids Gardening Tips

The Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program Growing Dreams.

If it were not for the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program my life would be so different. The giant cabbage I grew from Bonnie Plants transformed my life and opened my eyes to hunger in my community and in the world. I am so greatful that my 3rd grade teacher signed up for the free program. A few days ago I saw the flat of Bonnie Plant cabbages at my school just waiting for the 3rd graders to bring them home. I remember the day I brought home my cabbage and how excited I was to plant it in my backyard. If you are in the 3rd grade or it you are a 3rd grade teacher or a parent of a 3rd grader please make sure that your class is signed up for the free, fun, life changing program. I am so glad my teacher did! Thanks Mrs. Every-Andrew and a HUGE thanks to Bonnie Plants from growing my dream!

http://www.bonnieplants.com/CabbageProgram/RegisterYour3rdGradeClass/tabid/163/Default.aspx

Copy and past this link to connect to the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program SIgn Up Page

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

How to Start a Vegetable Garden
By Katie Stagliano, age 11

Starting a vegetable garden can be great fun and full of surprise such as the 40 pound cabbage that I grew that changed my life! I am 11 years old and I have several vegetable gardens that I started after I grew my forty pound cabbage. What makes my vegetable gardens a little bit different is that I donate everything I harvest from my gardens to soup kitchens to help feed people in need.
If you want to start a vegetable garden for your family to enjoy or if you too want to plant a garden to feed families who need help putting food on their table, getting started is easier than you think. First, decide what type of garden you would like. You can choose from a few plants in pots, a raise bed garden or a garden planted directly in the ground. Selecting which one can depend on how much space you have. If you live in an apartment or have a small yard, plants in a pot maybe your best choice. If you have a large yard, a raised bed garden or in the ground garden is a great choice, you can even reuse an old sandbox and turn it into a raised bed garden. Keep in mind plants need sunlight to grow, so plan your garden in a sunny spot.
Your next step after selecting where you will have your garden is making sure you have good soil. When planting in pots, purchasing potting soil in bags is a good choice. For a raised bed garden made in an old sandbox (make sure it doesn’t have a bottom) you can also fill it in with bags of potting mix. If you want to plant your garden in the ground remove all of the grass and rocks before you start. Tilling or breaking up the soil will help when you are putting the plants in the ground.
What is the next step? Planning what you would like to grow! There are so many choices. You can pick your favorite vegetable to grow or try something new like okra. I prefer to plant with seedlings, a young plant.   You can buy seedlings at Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowes and if you are in the 3rd grade you can get a free cabbage seedling through the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program by asking your teacher to sign up at http://www.bonnieplants.com/CabbageProgram/tabid/81/Default.aspx.   Bonnie plants use peat pot that make planting fun and easy with less waste. The tag that comes with the plants is very helpful. It teaches you how to plant and when to harvest. Dig a hole for your plant be sure to make it larger than the plant. Gently place your plant in the hole, fill in dirt around it and be sure to water it often enough, but don’t flood it. Also, if your plants don’t look quite right, try fertilizing them. Fertilizer is a great way to help your plants thrive.
It's important to plant your garden at the right time, and the key is knowing when your area will see its last spring frost. You may lose your warm weather crops if you put them in the ground too soon. You can check the Old Farmer’s Almanac freeze chart by clicking here- http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states#chart.
The next part is amazing! Water, fertilize, keep the weeds away and watch your plant grow. Before you know it you will have vegetables to pick. You will be amazed at how delicious the vegetables you grow are. It’s that simple! And fun!
To learn more about what I do, go to www.katieskrops.com.

Earth Day Celebration at Children's Orchard April 24, 2010

In celebration of Earth Day I am partnering with my friends at Children's Orchard in Summerville. I will be there in the afternoon of Saturday, April 24th planting vegetable seeds for kids to bring home and start their own vegetable gardens.  I hope you will stop by and visiting me for this free event.

Children's Orchard is located at :

1580 Old Trolley Road
Summerville, SC 29485
(843) 873-7142

 

How to help your garden grow when it is freezing outside.

It maybe freezing outside but you can still help your garden grow.  How?  You can compost.  Compost is using waste to create nutrients for your garden.  How do you do it, is really is easy.  When my mom cooks we take the vegetables and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells and place them in a big bin.  When the bin is filled we take the bin to my garden and dump them in compost bin my dad and brother built. We dump the kitchen waste into the bin that also has dirt, newspapers, grass clippings, leaves that have fallen from the trees and the old plants that we pulled from the garden.  We make sure it stays moist and about twice a week with a pitch fork we turn the compost and it slowly decays.  When the compost is ready we will till it into future gardens.  Below is a list of items that you can and cannot compost thanks to my Master Gardener Ms. Lisa!  Give it a try, it cuts down on waste in our landfills and will really help your garden in the future!

Materials for Composting

Weeds (without seed heads)

Bread and Grains

Coffee Grounds and Filters

Tea Bags and Loose Tea Leaves

Egg Shells

Fruit / Vegetable Rinds, Peelings, etc.

Grass Clippings

Leaves (preferably mulched)

Sawdust from Untreated, Unpainted Wood

Straw

Sod

Wood Ash (moderate amounts)

Wood Chips

Paper

Newspaper

 

What Not to Compost

Butter

Oils

Bones

Cat or Dog Manure

Cheese

Chicken Scraps

Fish Scraps

Lard

Vegetable Oil

Diseased Plants

Mayonnaise

Meats or Meat Fats

Milk

Peanut Butter

Salad Dressings

Sour Cream

Evergreen Leaves

Charcoal Ashes (can be toxic)

Any Treated, Painted Wood and/or Wood Chips

Coated Paper

 

Katie's Gardening Tip #1

As the weather is getting cold outside it is a great time to plant an herb garden inside!  The soup kitchen where I live love fresh herbs and I deliver fresh basil every week to the cooks at the Palmetto House.

It is easy to start a small herb garden at home.  All you will need is an herb plant such as basil or cilantro.  Bonnie's herbs are my favorites and you can find them at Home Depot, Lowes or many other stores.  You will also need some soil, a pot and a sunny spot in your home.  Plant you herbs in a pot filled with soil, with the Bonnie plants you can just tear the bottom off the peat pot and plant it. Find a sunny spot in your house and be sure to water it regularly.  It is fun, easy, smells great and you can use it at your house when your family cooks or you can do what I do ... donate some to your local soup kitchen!