First The Photo: Can you name this type of flower? Scroll down through the post and see if you can name all of the different flowers. Do you know what season each of the flowers bloom in?
Second The Question: Do you like to dig in the dirt? When the weather warms up in the spring do you feel like it is time to plant something? What do you like to grow best? Flowers, veggies, fruits or herbs? Have you ever planted a garden? Maybe it is a good time to start. Even if you don’t have a yard of your own, you can still plant some pots for the balcony or front stoop. Many things will grow in a medium sized pot. You will even get a small harvest if you choose to plant a vegetable seed. Some easy things for kids to grow: sunflowers, green beans, potatoes in a bin, zinnias, or basil.
Third Next Steps: If you want a great gift for a little gardener. Try making a year-round indoor garden for them to “dig, plant and harvest” from. I made this indoor garden plot from some vinyl I wrapped around tubes of soft batting. Then I found some simple patterns for felt fruits and vegetables. The final step was finding or making a small “wood” box to serve as the raised be container for my garden plot. This is a wonderful, no-dirt way to embrace a bit of indoor gardening no matter what the weather is like!
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First the Photo: Do you know what kind of flower this is? Can you find on a map where they typically grow. I will give you a hint they need an area with 4 seasons and a long cold spell to get them ready to come up and bloom in the spring.
Second the Question: This flower is a type of bulb. Have you ever seen them growing? Do you have bulbs that grow in your area? Have you ever smelled one of these beautiful flowers? Do you live in a place that has a distinct spring? Isn’t it wonderful to see colors appear in the landscape after a long cold winter? How would you like to enjoy some springtime a little bit earlier this year?
Third Next Steps: Would you like to bring a bit of color into the cold days of winter? Bulbs are very easy to grow indoors..it is called “forcing bulbs”. It is fairly simple to do and fun to watch the bulb grow and bloom in your own little corner of the world. Florists sell them already planted, or even some grocery stores with floral areas will often sell them from Feb. through April. However, if you like to get a bit dirty and would enjoy planting them yourself it is easy to do, so dig in and enjoy! First go to a florist, hardware store, or large chain store and buy the bulb. The easiest bulbs to force are called: paperwhite narcissi, but you can also force hyacinths(the ones in the picture) or amaryllis or some varieties of tulips. All you need is a medium sized bowl or pot, potting soil, gravel, a shovel and a watering container. Add some gravel to the bottom of the bowl to help with drainage, then add soil, if you would like..some of the bulbs can be placed right in the gravel. Place the bulb on the gravel and keep adding soil or gravel under the bulb is 3/4 covered. Press firmly so the bulb is set in securely in the planting medium. Then water the bulb. If you are growing Paperwhites you can just keep it out and continue to water, keeping it moist but not wet and then shoots will come within 2-3 weeks. They will flower within 6 weeks. If you are forcing any of the other bulbs you need to give them a mock winter. So after you water them once, tuck them into the fridge for 3-4 weeks then bring them out and begin to water them keeping them moist but not wet and you will have yourself a flower about 6 weeks after taking them out of the fridge! Forcing bulbs are a fun way to help sped up spring’s arrival!
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