Here are some small gardening techniques your children can pick up and work on.
• For children of 5-7 years: In a glass jar, get children to put wet cotton balls and throw in a few rajma (kidney bean) or white chana (gram) on it. Keep the jar at a windowsill to catch sunlight. In a few days, young seedlings will sprout.
Flower power: (left) Hollyhock plants can grow up to 8ft; (right) easy-to-grow plants such as daisies and sunflowers are ideal for beginners.
• For children of 7-9 years: Send them scouting for dry marigold flowers. Separate the petals. Put the seeds in the soil, in a pot. Wet the surface slightly and cover with a newspaper. Within a few days, new plants will sprout. Remove the newspaper and let the plants grow further.
• For children above 9 years: Cut off a stem from a rose plant and remove the top. Plant this into semi-wet soil to get a new plant. Colourful plants such as coleus will also make for interesting lessons in multiplying greens. In a pot of sand, place multiple cuttings and leave it in the shade. Water it every second day and watch the cuttings grow.
• Make older children into green citizens: Ask them to hunt under neem or peepul trees for new plantings. These can then be dug out gently with their roots and transplanted in a new spot.
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