Why let the kids tend to a virtual garden on an app or a game when it’s a lot more fun getting our hands dirty? Here’s an easy project that will get them to leave that tablet alone and head outdoors. The end result makes a sweet little gift as well.
What you need:
-Scrap paper (such as printer paper, the less ink and dyes the better)
-Pack of wildflower seed mix (Most garden centers carry ones that thrive well in your area; ask your local nursery)
-Large bowl (bowls if using color)
-Old kitchen towel
-Food color (optional)
1. Roughly shred your paper into small pieces.
2. Soak overnight in a bowl with enough water to cover the bits of paper.
3. Run a little at a time of paper and water in blender to make wet pulp or slurry.
4. Drain some of the water, but don’t squeeze it all out.
5. Mix wildflower seeds into slurry.
6. Optional step:
• Divide into portions in separate bowls, one for each color you would like to use.
• Add a drop of food coloring into each portion and mix well.
• Cover with moist towel/s and let sit at least a couple of hours.
• Note that colors will look muted once seed bombs are pressed into shape and will darken as it dries.
7. Form into balls while squeezing excess water out. You don’t want it too wet or the seeds will germinate!
8. Let dry.
9. Package into small gift bags as favors or gifts.
If you have silicone ice tray molds that come with different shapes, it will look prettier in a clear gift bag. To plant, set seed bombs in soil and cover with a thin layer of soil. Water and let the sun, and time, do the rest. Wasn’t that fun? In one project, you’ve taught the kids to do something good for their environment by recycling and providing low-maintenance plants. Most importantly, you’ve managed to make them forget their devices and enjoy their environment. Gold star for you!
When buying seed, try skipping the big box stores and go local. We have nurseries that are just lovely to meander through. Here are two with upcoming events:
Stroll through the garden, see the Koi, and get inspired at Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery. They are holding free seminars on May 9th. At 10 a.m. “Fairy Gardens for Mom” and at 11 am. “Disappearing Fountains for Mom”. Visit hillcountrywatergardens.com or call (512) 260-5050 for more details or drop in at 1407 North Bell Blvd. (Hwy 183) Cedar Park, TX.
Farm animals, a butterfly garden, and a labyrinth – those are just a few things you’ll find at The Natural Gardener on top of resources to help you grow what you want, organically. This weekend, they’re gifting Mom with a free 4” annual. Visit naturalgardeneraustin.com, call (512) 288-6113 or check them out at 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd. Austin, TX.
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