Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Junior Girl Scouts badge: Gardener Part 2

From Seed to Sprout
For the past couple of years, my daughters have helped my husband with a garden in our backyard.  They begin in early spring by planting seeds in peat pellets that are placed in a covered tray.  The tray is set on a heating pad and covered with a thick blanket to provide a dark, moist environment.  The girls use their resources wisely and label the pellets with old address labels.  One end of the label is wrapped around a toothpick before being inserted into the dirt.

A few days later, sprouts will appear. 

The pellets are transferred to a modified greenhouse.

Supplies for the modified greenhouse:
standard 10' piece of 3/4" PVC pipe cut to size as follows:
     1 piece (4.5 feet) for the crossbar
     2 pieces (18 inches) for the legs
     4 pieces (8 inches) for the feet   
2 PVC elbow joints 
2 PVC Ts 
Fluorescent Shoplight (chains and s-hook come with the shop light)
duct tape

  1. Construct your greenhouse PVC frame.   
  2. Cut two 4.5' sheets of foil and lay on ground.
  3. Tape bottom and side edges of foil with duct tape to reinforce.
  4. Hang shop light from top of PVC frame using chains
  5. Tape foil sheets to edge of shop light.
As the sprouts continue to grow, they will need to be transferred to larger pots, most likely more than once, before being planted in the ground.

As long as the plants receive an adequate amount of sun and water in your garden, you will enjoy a bountiful harvest.  Just watch out for those woodland creatures who always seem to get to those tasty veggies first!

Hanging Gardens 
I happened to be watching an older episode of Kelsey's Essentials when Kelsey Nixon visited Rockaway Taco to speak with Andrew Day Field about his unique approach to tacos.  In preparation for this post, I read that this taco stand has closed, but I wanted to share how Andrew was able to grow vegetables and herbs in a small space.  Unfortunately I was unable to find a video of this episode online, but you can view other episodes of her show here.  On a bright note, I did come across this picture which shows the hanging garden of various planters that caught my eye during Kelsey's visit to Rockaway Taco.  

Steps to make your own hanging garden:
1.  Punch holes in the bottom of the container to allow excess water to drain.
2.  Cut an opening in the side of the container near the top.
3.  Fill the container with soil.
4.  Insert the plant and add more soil as needed.
5.  Create a loop with twine and secure on handle of container.
6.  Hang on fence or deck.
7.  Enjoy!

Not only could these ideas help satisfy Scout badge steps, they could spark ideas for a future service project.  For example, a hanging garden could be appreciated at a retirement or nursing home.  Additionally, it's a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle those plastic containers.  Whether you are planting for someone else or for your own enjoyment, I wish you great success as you exercise your green thumb.  Thanks for reading!                                                           

No comments:

Post a Comment