Friday, May 7, 2010
Spring in a Can
My sons have been asking me lately if they can plant some seeds so they can watch them grow. While I would love to have a garden, we have so much wildlife in our yard that anything we planted would be eaten in no time.
It is still too cold here to plant flowers outside, so I bought the following materials so that they could plant cat grass in recycled cans. It was a quick project that was just long enough for their 3-year-old attention spans. And the grass started growing in about 7 days so they didn't have to be too patient to see results.
1 can (I used a 14.5 oz. can from canned corn)
pea gravel or small rocks
1 brown paper lunch bag
First, I rinsed out a can and dryed it. I didn't use soap to wash it because I was afraid any soap residue would hurt the plants. And here is a tip: the cans with the pop off tops (similar to soda cans) leave sharper edges than the cans that you have to open with a can opener. I learned that the hard way by slicing the side of my hand while drying a can. Needless to say that I threw that can out and opted for a can without sharp edges.
Next, my sons filled the bottom of the can with pea gravel to provide some drainage. My sons then filled the cans with potting soil, sprinkled in the seeds, topped it with more soil and watered it.
Now that their part of the project was done I decided to decorate the cans a little. I wanted to label each can with their name on kraft paper, but I didn't have any kraft paper on hand. Instead, I cut out a piece of brown paper lunch bag that was 8.5" long and about 4" wide. On my computer, I set up a document in Word, chose a font I liked and typed my sons' name. I printed it on the lunch bag and then used rubber cement to glue the label to the can. I'll admit that the lunch bag did get stuck in the printer once but thankfully it wasn't a horrible paper jam. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results, especially since it only cost me a couple of bucks for the seeds.