Gardening With Kids: Plant an Odds-and-Ends Garden

Yam plant
Photograph by Michael Piazza
With spring still weeks away, here's an easy way to get growing. Kids will love turning ordinary kitchen scraps into a windowsill gardening project. And who knows? It might even inspire them to eat more veggies.
Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Plant Pointers

  • Start with organic produce (we found it grows a bit better than the conventional variety), and rinse the scraps well.
  • Set the garden in a warm spot where it will get as much sunlight as possible.
  • Check the water every day and change it every three to four days to keep stinkiness at bay.
  • Use a spray bottle of water to mist the leaves every few days.
  • If you like, transfer the rooted plants to containers with potting soil to encourage further growth.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Keep a Plant Journal

Have kids record each plant's start date, then add sketches, measurements, and notes as the
days go on.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Beets

Slice the top ½ inch from a fresh beet with its greens still attached. Trim the greens, leaving about ½ inch of stem. Rinse the beet top, then place it in a shallow dish of water. Little shoots should appear within several days.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Celery

Trim a bunch of celery 3 inches or so above its base. Place it in a shallow dish of water. Leaves should grow out of the center in a week, and tiny roots will also sprout from the bottom. Peel away any rotting stalks as the plant grows.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Basil

Trim several stalks from a basil plant, pinching off the larger leaves from the stalks' tops (this focuses energy on root-growing). Submerge the cut ends in water. The bottoms will darken, and, after about two weeks, small roots should emerge.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Garlic

Tightly pack several peeled garlic cloves in a small container and cover them with water. Roots should appear within the first few days, then sprouts will emerge from the cloves' tops within a week.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Photograph by Michael Piazza
Photograph by Michael Piazza

Yams

Wash a yam well, then cut it in half. Place the cut surface in a shallow dish of water. Leaves will appear in two weeks.

Originally published in the February 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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