Social Distance Learning Project: Recyclable Planters

Project: Recyclable Planters
This activity combines a whole lot of learning all rolled into one: recycling, gardening, composting and plant anatomy. Get a jump on spring by growing new plants to fill your yard and garden with great flavors and bright colors.
1. You’ll need newspaper, a cylinder (water bottle or aluminum can), potting soil and seeds (pea or bean seeds are wonderful because they sprout quickly!).
2. Lay the newspaper on a hard surface. Fold and wrap it tightly around the cylinder. Tape the edge and slide the cylinder out.
3. Fill the newspaper pot about ¾ high with potting soil. Make a couple small holes with a fingertip and drop a seed in each. Cover the holes with a layer of soil.
4. Place the pot with a plate in a sunny location with a plate underneath to catch any water or soil that may leak out.
5. Water the pot every 2-3 days, keeping the soil moist to encourage seed germination.
 6. Once the seeds sprout and get strong enough you can see roots coming out of the pot base, transfer it directly into the ground. The pot will eventually break down and become compost! *It is best to plant outside only after the last frost – usually early May in the northeast.
Make a bunch of pots filled with a variety of seeds. Be sure to mark what is planted in each by writing the name on a craft stick and popping it in the soil. They can be placed on a baking tray – with sides – and placed near a window. Keep a journal of the sprouts, indicating when they are being watered, how much sunlight they are exposed to, which pot germinated first. As the plants grow, kids can measure the heights and draw pictures of what they notice.
Sponsored by National Grid.

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