Kaitlyn’s Kids’ Corner


How to Plant a Seed

  1. Choose seeds that germinate easily when planting seeds with kids. Lima bean or marigold seeds are easy for children to handle, and they germinate with little effort.
  2. Direct each child to fill a clear plastic cup, 3/4 full with sterile potting soil. Clear plastic cups between 8 and 12 oz. should suffice. Each child will require one plastic cup for each type of seed used for the project.
  3.  Ask each kid to press one seed down into the soil of each cup. Most seeds require planting at a depth of 1/4 inch. Each child should pat the soil over the top of each seed.
  4. Mist the potting soil with water from a spray bottle. Fill a 12-oz. spray bottle with water and allow children to spray their planted seeds with the water until the soil is moist to a depth of 1 inch.
  5. Set the plastic cups on a sunny windowsill. Check the plastic cups daily for seed germination, which should take between seven and 10 days. Maintain moist soil throughout the growing process, as well as at least six hours of sunlight per day.


How to Plant a Tree

How to Plant a Balled or Burlapped Tree


What is a balled or burlapped tree? The tree roots are wrapped in burlap or plastic that looks like a big ball at the bottom of the tree. Burlap helps keep the soil around the roots when the tree is being moved.
1. Dig a hole for the balled/burlapped tree. It should be as deep as the soil in the ball. The width of the hole should be at least three times the width of the ball. Loosen the edges of the hole, especially the bottom. This will help the new roots to grow easily.
2. Pick up the tree by the ball and place it in the hole. Never carry the tree by the trunk, because the weight of the ball will shift causing the roots to break.Place the tree in the hole and arrange it in the center. plant-a-tree_balled-hole
3. Remove the burlap or plastic from the ball.
4. Make sure the tree is standing straight, then backfill the rest of the hole with a combination of earth from the hole, peat moss, and composted manure. Do not compress the backfill. The backfill should not go any higher up the trunk than the root ball.
5. Stakes. If your tree is three feet or taller, you should stake it so it doesn’t start to lean over as the soil settles. See diagram. plant-a-tree_stakes
6. Water the tree very well every day for the next few weeks. Later you can water every week or so, depending on your climate.


How to Plant a Bare-Rooted Tree


Planting bare-rooted trees is a little different from planting balled trees.
For one thing, bare-root trees will dry out quickly, so you have to make
sure the roots don’t dry out. Another thing is that the roots should be
carefully trimmed to remove any damaged roots. Just trim them back to the
healthy roots. Save as much of the healthy root system as you can.
1. Dig a small hole and make a cone of dirt in the bottom of the hole.
2. Place the tree in the hole and spread the roots of the tree evenly around the cone. Make sure the crown, where the roots met the trunk, is about two inches above the top of the soil. plant-a-tree_bare-root_hole
3. Hold the tree so it is straight, and backfill as above.
4. Water every day for the next few weeks. Later you can water every week or
so, depending on your climate.


Links to Kids Plant Pages

Science Kids – www.sciencekids.co.nz/plants.html