Sunday, March 22, 2009

Peat pots and preschoolers: A smart combination?

Last night, much to my preschooler's delight, we started work on our "garden."

I figured she had been tortured enough in having seeds in our home for a month now. I broke out the peat pots and container I'd saved for a special occasion, and we got to work on our kitchen counter.

Being a little rusty in this regard I did the unthinkable: I read the directions. It started with "add warm water to the bottom of the container." Hmm... Lots of water plus preschooler equals potential for a huge mess. We got off the kitchen table fast and settled onto the floor.

My daughter oohed and ahhed as the "dirt grew" in the tray. She was ready to begin.

As I've been a procrastinator this year, I only have the six packets I won from Botanical Interests on hand, the rest are waiting to arrive. Of the six, only one recommends starting indoors. I grabbed the leeks.

We pulled out a bowl to pour the seeds in as I worked to get the peat pellets ready. I sprinkled a small amount of seeds in to show her how tiny they are; in her excitement she dumps the rest unceremoniously into the bowl.

She stared at them quizzically. I jumped in: "Look at how tiny they are, and look how big they'll get," as I grab the leeks I found at the grocery store this week. She looked impressed.

I poked the holes in each pellet; her job was to add the seeds to each. I got admonished in a way that only 3 years olds can do when I slacked off and didn't keep up with her expectations.

Finally, after wandering attention and questions like "Why are your fingers dirty?" we finished our initial leek project. We covered our tray and set out to find a spot with indirect sunlight. Except with our home's orientation, it's a challenge. In fact, the few places that might work are in the direct path of baby brother.

So whether these poor leeks will make it until mid-May for planting is anyone's guess. But I think the two of us, regardless, will learn a lot!

(photo from

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