Think you can't plant in January? But you can!
If you are not lucky enough to live where I am in Phoenix or another warm winter climate, plant indoors at a sunny window.
If you are lucky enough to live in Phoenix, check out this planting guide for January from the Maricopa Master Gardeners:
Started vegetables are seasonally available at your local DIY store. Though starts are more expensive than seeds, young children can see the results of planting right away. This might be more meaningful to them.
Seeds are still a wonderful option. Try getting large seeds such as peas, pumpkins, corn and beans. These can easily be planted by small fingers.
Another fun idea is to plant seeds that feature in a favorite book like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and the Radish Cure.
What are some non-poisonous vegetable plants that we can plant on our playground?
There are so many! Try these:
· Beans. Beans are great eating raw or fresh and dried beans make wonderful pieces for mosaic art works.
· Squash. Find lesser known varieties for their weird and wonderful shape, colors, and skin texture. Carve them or decorate them anytime of year.
· Fresh herbs like lavender, mint, basil, and oregano will last all year and can be nibbled and crushed.
· Kale and broccoli—totally edible, from root to flower!
No raised beds? No money for soil?
All you need are the seeds (any variety will do, even dried beans from the pantry) and a ziplock bag.
Try window gardening...
Give each child a small piece of paper towel or tissue to put in the ziplock baggie. Lay it on the table will make this process easier. Give each child 1-3 seeds to place on the tissue. Add a small amount of water (one plastic spoonful is plenty) onto the seeds and the tissue. Pat the air out gently and seal the top. Tape to a sunny window. The seeds should sprout within a week.
Cross cut your class's learning by integrating some math skills. Make a chart to record who planted which seeds on what day and when the seeds sprouted.
Though these seeds cannot be transplanted into the garden, the children will enjoy seeing the hidden life of a seed while it is waking up!
Don't just stand there, Plant something!