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PREVIEW: Two Peas in a Pot: 8 Kid-Friendly Activities for the Fall and Winter Garden Season by April Tucker

The end of summer typically marks the beginning of school for kids and sliding into fall harvests.  The slower pace of the fall and winter gardening season provides time to take a breath, take inventory, and take advantage of downtime to organize seeds, clean gardening tools for storage, and prep space for winter and spring crops.  Depending on your region, a variety of crops can be grown year-round and provide benefits to the soil.  Additionally, it’s the best time of year to find deals on gardening supplies and creating plans for unique garden spaces, both indoors and outdoors.  Here are eight activities you can enjoy with your child during the slow fall and winter seasons:

1) Collect and clean pots.  If your place looks like mine, you’ll find dirty planting pots covering the garage workbench and floating around in the backyard.  Yep, it’s time for the “clean-up” song!  Have your child put on some gardening gloves and help you collect all the pots to clean, dry, and take inventory.  If you have any broken terra cotta pots, put them into a plastic or metal bin to save and use as drainage for other potted plants.  Using non-toxic paints, your child can decorate the outsides of the pots, storing for later use.  If you are running low on seedling pots, head to your nearest gardening store to be sure you’re adequately prepared for the next growing season.

2) Paint rocks.  Painted rocks are a wonderful whimsical addition to any garden.  Rocks can also be used as labels for plants since the little plastic plant markers often get lost or fly away with the birds as nesting material.  Use non-toxic permanent paint pens with a fine tip to have your child label rocks with the names of plants you anticipate planting (one rock per plant/row).  Using the underside space of the rock, write the care instructions for each plant.  Place rocks at the front of each plant/row for easy identification.


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