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If you enjoyed getting your hands just a little dirty with tomatoes and snacks (in the Try It and By the Numbers sections of this issue), you’ll really love creating your own garden. It’s a great project to do — whether it’s summer or winter, and whether you have a backyard or not. You and your adult partner will want to do this hands-on activity to begin designing your garden.

    Grapohic-illustration showing a roasting pan filled with dirt, on top of newspapers.

Design a Container Garden

You Need:
An adult helper
One, two or four large foil roasting pans (depending on how big a garden you want to grow)
A nail
Lots of old newspaper
A box of straws
A pencil and a big piece of paper
Seeds (good choices for this kind of garden include radishes, carrots, peppers, lettuces, herbs of all sorts and small annual flowers)
Potting soil
A yardstick


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Graphic-illustration looking over the top of the container garden, showing a grid of strings and straws.

What to Do:
1. Ask your adult helper to use the nail to poke little holes in the bottom of each roasting pan. You should make about 1 hole per square inch.
2. Put your roasting pans, side by side, on top of the foil. Crimp the edges of the foil so that your roasting pans are sitting on a foil tray. Put a thick pad of newspaper in a sunny window, put the foil tray on top of the newspaper, and put the pans, side by side, on top of the foil.
3. Fill the roasting pans with potting soil — you should leave about an inch at the top.
Measure the width of your roasting pan garden, and cut three strings about 2 inches longer than the width. Measure the length of your roasting pan garden, and cut six strings about two inches longer than the length. Tie a straw to each end of each string.
Stick the straws into the garden so that you create a grid.
Draw a picture of the garden and the grid on a piece of paper. Give each square a letter (square A, square B and so on). Now, you’re ready to plan your garden!
7. Together, decide what you want to plant, and how many squares you’ll assign to each kind of plant. Write the name of the plant in the square. Be sure to check the package to see how much room each seed will need to grow.
8. Plant your seeds, and give them enough water to dampen the soil. Watch your garden grow!



Match food and shapes in this issue’s Brain Buster!


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