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
potting soil
1 brown paper lunch bag
rubber cement

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.


germandolls said...

I think that is a sweet idea. I am sure they had fun doing it. You should check out my blog for the garden we planted recently...Maybe there are community gardens somewhere near you and you could rent a garden, too?!

Anna said...

Thank you! I read your blog and the community gardens are a wonderful idea but we don't have them here :( It is amazing to me that we live 10 miles away from a pretty big city yet we have tons of dear, rabbits, foxes, wild turkeys, etc. strolling through our yard on a daily basis. I just don't have the energy or the desire to battle the poor creatures over a garden.