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KIDS

WINTER 2014

CREATE

an amazing terrarium

Weird and Wonderful

outdoors!

GROW

baby greens from seed BUILD

a flower tower

FO LO R OK PU LOT IN S SI Z TO Z OF DE DO LE FU ! S N

A TAKE ER CLOS AT LOOK RE U T A N


BRING T HE

baby’s tears

! n i e d i s t u o A terrarium is a fantastic project for a winter’s day when it’s too wet to play outside. A terrarium is a glass container with plants in it. Raid the cupboards for an old coffee plunger, cup and saucer, fish bowl or glass vase and you’ve got yourself a terrarium to fill to your heart’s desire. You might like to create a miniature garden, mini-desert, fairy forest, Jurassic jungle or tiny tropical rainforest. Even a garden with some teeny furniture!

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kids go gardening winter


Go troppo!

button fern

begonia

Tropical plants are great for terrariums because they love humidity (damp misty air around their leaves). Once plants start growing, the terrarium becomes a mini climate of its own. The leaves release moisture, which condenses on the glass and trickles back down onto the soil, just like rain! If the terrarium has a lid, it can go weeks without watering.

peperomia

What you’ll need to create a terrarium:

YOUR TERRARIUM LOVES... Being out of the sun. , Being clean and fresh with healthy plants. , Being watered, but not too much. If there’s ,

• A glass container • Some small pebbles • Spaghnum moss (or a piece of weed mat)

condensation on the glass, don’t water.

• Potting mix

Food! ,

If the leaves start to look yellow, feed with houseplant food (1/4 strength).

• A few baby plants • Your imagination!

Space. If the terrarium gets crowded you ,

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Start with a layer of pebbles, at least 3cm deep (deeper for a larger container) for drainage.

may need to prune or take out a plant. Quickly remove any plant that looks very sick or dies!

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Lay a thin bed of sphagnum moss (or weedmat) over the pebbles to prevent the potting mix falling down into the pebbles.

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Add potting mix, deep enough for your plant roots. Ideally the container should be no more than half full.

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Try out your plants until you are happy with your arrangement, then take each plant out of its pot, make a hole and carefully plant it. A dessertspoon or chopstick may be helpful. Allow enough space for plants to grow and spread.

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Small is beautiful

Who loves green vegetables? They may not be your favourite thing to eat….. but have you tried cute, crunchy microgreens? Microgreens are geminated seeds that are harvested and eaten when they are very small. And just like children, they grow really quickly! Not only do microgreens taste great and look cute, they’re jam packed full of nutrients. They’re perfect to grow during the winter – when it gets cold outside, bring them indoors and they’ll keep growing on a sunny porch or window sill.

Microscopic magic Almost any vege plant can be eaten as a microgreen – mix it up!

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Rocket Radish Basil

kids go gardening winter

Super colourful

Beetroot Purple basil Rainbow silverbeet

S up er gr ee n

Spinach Celery Watercress

Crunchy

Snowpeas Kale bbage Chinese ca


Cook’s notes: 4 4

Sprinkle microgreens over a pizza.

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Try them in mashed potatoes.

Use them to make cheese and crackers look flash. Sprinkle spicy microgreens over hot creamy soup or pasta.

How to grow microgreens

You will need

• A shallow container with holes in the bottom (we used recycled tomato punnets from the supermarket) • Seed raising mix • Seeds • Spray bottle (an old bathroom cleaner spray bottle is fine but be sure to clean it out first)

1 Fill your container with seed raising mix. and press the mix down firmly using 2 aLevel small block of wood. 3 Water gently then leave to drain for a few minutes. seeds on top of the seed raising mix and 4 Sprinkle lightly cover with a very fine layer of mix. (Check on

When microgr your 3-5cm ta eens are ll, g scissors rab your and snipping get !

the label for planting depth as some bigger seeds might need to be pushed down into the mix).

Place the tray in a warm, sheltered spot with 5 plenty of light. Spray with water when the seed raising mix 6 starts to look a little dry, keeping it moist but not soaking wet.

PUZZLE

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Baby greens to grow from seed.

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Hint: Read the bottom of page 4

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Weird l u f r e d n wo nature

When winter comes around you might think the garden looks bare, but take a closer look! Next time you wander around your garden or your park, take a carry bag and gather up bits of nature. See how many beautiful colours and amazing shapes you can find. Look for different shaped cones, dazzling leaf colours, interesting bark patterns, leaves with unusual shapes, strange looking seed capsules, bright berries and fruits. There are loads of colourful berries around at this time of year. Many of them are food for birds, but always check with an adult before you eat anything in the garden. BEWARE: Many plants are poisonous, not only the berries, but leaves and flowers too!

W? U KNO packets, O Y D I in D s uy seed ir own

the ers b Garden seeds come in psules, e r c s, a atu but in n ontainers (pod helps them c kind of or fruits). This places to ew ads seed he und and find n ht to the o ig r a r t d s a to fell a spre hey just be too crowded t If . w o r gr o ld u d o in the w , they w ground Some travel in s are d survive! ater. Other see ds bir y on w b d roun a d a e r p s mmals. and ma

Make a nature table so you

can connect with the outside world even when it’s too wet to go out. Change it with each season, or as you discover new things. Nature tables look so beautiful. But they’re not just for looking. Pick things up for a closer look or change things around for a new look every day.

ROSEHIP

FEATHERS

CATKIN SEEDPODS

GUM LEAVES

POLLEN

SEEDHEAD BERRIES

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kids go gardening winter


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PUZZLE 3

Across 3. They turn bright colours in autumn 6. Colourful, round and sometimes poisonous 7. Berries on rose bushes Down 1. Sharp leaves on pine trees 2. From birds 4. Grows on old trees and fences 5. Thick and strong, it protects a tree’s trunk

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You can also use bits of nature to create beautiful artworks. You might make a beautiful collage picture, or try a hanging mobile like Olivia’ s. Here’s how:

You will need

• Interesting bits of nature from your garden: seed heads, cones, leaves, feathers, bark, lichen, berries… • String, fishing line or cotton. • A sturdy twig.

1 Tie a piece of string 2 Tie each bit of nature 3 Tie the other end

at each end of your stick to make the hanger.

to a piece of cotton or string, 30-40 cm long

of your string to your stick, making each string a different length, some short some longer.

4 Hang your creation

(somewhere not too breezy). See how your treasures can look even more beautiful when they’re floating in mid air!

TIP: use a needle to thread berries or rosehips

onto your string. Use them like beads above a leaf or cone to make beautiful hanging ‘jewels’.

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Build a Flower Tower!

Winter has some super colourful flowers. Pretty much any colour you might want! Cheer up your outdoors by planting some flowers in pots. Or you could get really carried away and make a flower tower. Make it double decker, triple decker or higher!

TIP:

To kee flower p your plan ts ing off any for longer, snip dead fl o we r s feed e an ve r y m onth w d liquid it fertilis er or w h juice f r o m yo o r m ur worm farm.

You will need: • Pots of different sizes. Measure the diameter of your pots and allow at least 6cm difference between each pot for planting space. • Potting mix with slow release fertiliser mixed in. • Flower seedlings - we allowed a ‘six-pack’ punnet of pansies for each layer. You could also use herbs or little succulents.

1 Choose 2 Fill

a sunny place for your flower tower. Remember, it might be tricky to move when it’s done.

the biggest pot about three quarters full with potting mix. Take the next biggest pot and push it down into the middle to mark where it will sit. Take it out and plant your seedlings evenly around the edge of the biggest pot. Add more potting mix around their roots as you go. The top of the roots should sit 1 or 2 cm below the rim of the pot.

3 Make

a small hollow in the middle of the potting mix and firmly push the next pot into it, making sure that it is sitting firmly and level in the middle.

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Fill the next pot with potting mix and plant around the edge as before… and so on (you might have up to six pots).

WORD FIND Seedlings that come in ‘six packs’ grow in their own little compartment. This means it’s easy to ‘pop’ them out for planting.

Plant the smallest pot and place it on top, then water carefully with a watering can.

KIDS www.gogardening.co.nz

Flowers for winter colour Cyclamen Pansy Polyanthus Viola Calendula Alyssum

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Proudly brought to our new gardeners by Nursery & Garden Industry New Zealand. This material is subject to copyright so please contact NGINZ for permission before reproducing this material in any form. Publisher:

Nursery and Garden Industry New Zealand (04) 918 3511 www.nginz.co.nz

Subscriptions: belinda@nginz.co.nz www.ggm.co.nz/subscribe.htm

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nginz The Nursery & Garden Industry Association of New Zealand

Kids Go Gardening Winter 2014  

An inspirational project publication for children relating to gardening and the outdoors, four seasonal issues

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