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Palo Alto Weekly

Real Estate - March 1, 2013

Garden Tips

Kids: You can grow a garden, too

by Jack McKinnon

This column is for kids. If you are an adult, go ahead and check it for safety and credibility and then give it to a kid.

Have you ever thought about growing your own food, flowers and beautiful gardens. You can and this column will show you how. It doesn't matter how old you are, how smart you are or what you look like. You can grow just about anything you want. All you need is time, which you have because you are young, and the willingness to learn.

Here are tips to get you started and keep you going for a lifetime of gardening:

1. Check your food for seeds. Try checking tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears, avocados, and just about anything you eat that was once on a plant.

2. The more seeds you gather, the more places you can plant them. Try sprouting them between damp paper towels. Once they sprout, plant them in the ground. Ask your mom where.

3. If none of your seeds grow then ask your parents to buy you a six-pack of baby plants (I like lettuce to start) and plant them in your garden.

4. Water your new plants whenever they seem dry to you. Stick your finger in the soil and feel if it is dry.

5. Look at your plants every day. Write about them in a notebook. Draw pictures of them. Write when you planted them, how you planted them and how much you water them.

6. If you have plants in small containers and the top gets as big as the container, move it to a bigger container so it can grow bigger. If it is already in a big container, put it in the ground somewhere. Ask your parents where you can plant it.

7. If you are growing lettuce, you can pick off a leaf once in a while and eat it. If you are growing a lot of lettuce you can make a salad. If you are growing a whole lot of lettuce you can make salads for your friends.

8. If you are growing flowers, pick some and make a bouquet for your mom.

9. Read books and check websites about the plants you are growing.

10. If you grow more than you can use, share the extra with others.

Good gardening.

Garden coach Jack McKinnon can be reached at 650-455-0687 (cell), by email at jack@jackthegardencoach.com. Visit his website at www.jackthegardencoach.com.

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