We’re a little late this year but I figured the cold snap we’ve been having would have set the crops back a little anyway, so perhaps we’ll still be able to grow a few plants for the garden. I LOVE gardening,and have done ever since I was younger. I was lucky enough to grow up with a large garden and had parents who loved to grow things too. At one point we all had our own little patch and we would tend to our vegetables ourselves- once our mud pies had been taken care of, of course. My grandparents also grew lots and they had a huge garden, with a little vineyard and animals too.
The plans for our garden are nowhere near what I grew up with, unfortunately, but I do intend for it to be a place where the children can play and learn. So yesterday the preschooler and I took the Tuff Spot outside and used it to plant some seeds for the garden.
Before we got started, we made our own biodegradable pots to plant the seeds in, which will eventually go straight into the ground. For this, we used Plenty’s new kitchen roll, Super Strong. We were sent a roll to review and I was keen to see whether they would hold the soil well enough, as well as mop up any spills. We used a small plastic beaker to get the shape of the pots and this is how we made them:
- Step 1: place two sheets of Plenty on a flat surface and place the beaker as per step 1 photo.
- Step 2: roll the beaker until the paper starts to come over the top. Then you need to fold the top of the sheet down as per step 2 photo. You don’t want the kitchen roll to go higher than the top of the beaker otherwise your pot will be too tall.
- Step 3: fold the bottom of the sheet up and hold it against the beaker. Continue to roll to the end so that the folded piece is tucked in.
- Step 4: remove the beaker and you should be left with a longer piece that needs to be tucked in. This secures the pot. All you need to do now is tuck any other ‘loose’ pieces in so that you have a finished Plenty pot.
Making the pots was tricky for the preschooler, so I did these beforehand. Then we gathered our equipment and took the Tuff spot outside!
We talked about:
- what plants need to grow
- how plants come from seeds
- the different shapes and sizes of our seeds- I chose broad beans, nasturtium and tomatoes as I knew they were all very different looking seeds
- how to look after plants- we had to be very gentle with the seeds
We then put the Plenty pots to the test. We stood them inside a sieve from the sand tray and carefully filled them with soil. The preschooler then added water before pressing a seed into the soil. We then added a thin layer of soil and a little more water. The test came when I lifted the sieve from the Tuff spot to see whether or not the pots were holding the soil and water… they were! Only one or two tiny drops of water had leaked through the sieve, so the pots were a success!
We decided to plant the rest of the seeds into plastic pots and a hanging basket, but before we did this the preschooler did some counting and sharing. We wanted to put two beans in each pot and keep the rest for another activity another day. The preschooler remembered the process: soil, water, seed, soil, water and was able to share the beans between the pots by himself.
We also decided to see if we could use Plenty to grow some beans without soil, and this is where test number two came in. I only wanted about a third of a sheet to go inside one glass and, without scissors, I tore the sheet… well, I tried! That stuff is strong! I ended up needing to cut the sheets as they really are like cleaning cloths rather than kitchen roll. We lined glasses with a piece of Plenty, popped a bean on top, added water and then covered with more Plenty. We’ll let you know how they grow! As an aside to the gardening, the Plenty Super Strong towels were fantastic and at the time of writing, the Plenty pots are still standing proud! Spills were mopped up really well too.
The preschooler was engrossed in this activity, asking lots of questions and expressing delight in the fact that we were growing plants. I can’t wait for the seedlings to appear and am so happy that he is taking a real interest in shaping his garden. How lovely to be outside and getting our hands dirty!
We were sent Plenty Super Strong for review purposes only. All views are my own!