Soil amendments, fertilizers, seed and plant selection, as well as pest control, just to name a few, can be daunting subjects for new gardeners wanting to make the right choices. Good gardening books help adults learn the ins and outs of gardening, but, “what about children?” Soil testing kits and fertilizer ratios may be too much for young children to understand. A simpler way to start children learning about the art of gardening is to use a seed chart. A seed chart is a great way to show children the many varieties of seeds, how these seeds feel, what they look like and what they need to help them grow into healthy, producing plants. Any child can help with the making of this project.
Items Needed for a Seed Chart
-Paper plate or small poster board
-Seeds and seed packages
-Markers or colored pencils
-Several small paper cups
Instructions to Make a Seed Chart
Using the ruler, evenly divide the paper plate into pie sections. You will need as many sections as you have seeds (use more paper plates if necessary). You can also make a grid on a poster board (be sure to make each square of the grid large enough to hold a picture of the plant (taken from the seed packet), a few seeds and a couple small drawings.
Cut open a seed packet at the top or bottom, leaving the picture on the front intact and pour contents in one of the paper cups. Cut out the picture of the vegetable or flower seed from the seed packet and set it aside.
Trim the picture to fit near the bottom of one of the pie sections on the paper plate and glue in place. Above the picture, write the name of the seed. Taking the information from the back of the seed packet, draw one small raindrop above the seed name to indicate little watering, two small raindrops to indicate moderate watering and three small raindrops for plants that need lots of water. Depending on the seed packet information, draw either a full sun, half sun or no sun to indicate what type of sunlight the plant prefers. At the top of the pie section, glue several seeds from the packet. Proceed to the next seed packet and next pie section until the paper plate is complete.
VARIATION: Make one chart with vegetable seeds only, one with flower seeds only and one with fruit seeds only.
CAUTION: Be watchful of very small children putting the seeds in their mouths.
Source: Personal Experience, Farm Bureau