Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on January 28, 2000 · Page 27
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 27

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Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, January 28, 2000
Page:
Page 27
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ON THE MARKET FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2000—7 SPRING GARDENS Some tips for starting out a growing gardener Ru .1111 IP RAWHFM DAVIS Ml^l^BHMBHHMMflHa^m^^MHHiMBMMHM«BBiH^BaBBBBBiHB^^MBM . r>lir.r.co a warlofi; nf nlonte By JULIE BAWOEN DAVIS Los Angeles Times Syndicate F or a successful gardening experience, consider the following tips: • Keep it simple. Many well-meaning parents have visions of a large, farm-like garden plot in their backyard. But kids don't have a long enough attention span for a big garden, and most adults don't have the time. "Take out one seed packet and figure you'll have your child's attention for about 20 minutes," says Sharon Kaszan, who tests new plants for W. Atlee Burpee & Co., a national mail- order seed and plant catalog company based in Warminster, Pa. • Designate a special gardening area just for your young gardener. This could be a small plot in the garden, or even easier - a large container. "Whatever space you do provide your child, it's important that it's always accessible," says master gardener Mary Ann Mealey. "Letting kids go out and check on their plants whenever they want keeps them enthused and connected to what's going on in the garden." • Try containers. For most harried parents, buying a container and filling it with potting soil is a more sensible option than digging up a corner for the yard. Most vegetables and flowers do really well in containers. Pots are also easier for children to work with because the soil is soft and near eye level, and seeds tend to germinate belter. • Relax a little. "Even if it kills you to do so. it's important to let your little gardener plant the way he or she sees fit and Gardener's Supply Company, Burlington, Vt To keep children interested in gardening, keep it simple. These hanging pots are simple to water and tend. maintain it that way," says Kaszan. "Let your kids pick vegetables and flowers, even if they aren't ripe or Or try browsing through seed and plant catalogs. Many fun vegetables are available, including miniature car- ready for picking. Giving them this rots such as Thumbelina, which are freedom teaches them a love of gardening that they'll take into adulthood." » Encourage kids to choose what they want to grow. "Take a trip to the nursery and have your child choose a flower that he or she wants to grow," says garden author and lecturer Judith Handelsman. shaped like golf balls; Easter Egg radishes, which come in red, white, purple and rose; Jack Be Little pumpkins that fit in small hands and will probably mature by early winter; blue popcorn; and peanuts. Herbs, with their various scents, are also fascinating to children. Try mint, as well as rosemary, thyme and scented geraniums. ,J^ Choose a variety of plants. It's a good idea to grow plants that produce a crop quickly, as well as those that take more time. For quick crops, try radishes, lettuce and arugu- la, which sprout almost overnight and can be eaten within 20 to 40 days. Plants that take longer to produce, but are still fun to watch, include carrots, beets, potatoes and brussels sprouts. • Make planting easier for kids by trying products like seed tape, which is a tissue-paper-like tape filled with seeds that children can lay down and cover with soil. This is especially helpful for tiny, hard-to-hold seeds like carrots and lettuce. • Don't exclude young gardeners. If kids can walk and play with toys, they're old enough to work in the garden, even if it's simply filling pots with soil or digging holes. For added interest, put a sandbox or an easel for drawing pictures of the garden nearby. • Teach proper watering. The two biggest causes of plant failure are too much or too little water. Explain to your kids that you can never water too much, only too often. Make certain that plants aren't kept continuously wet, or your little gardener is apt to lose plants to rot. Before watering, stick a finger in the soil, or use a moisture meter. • Give your garden kid appeal. Many garden accessories can transform your outdoor space into a fun place to be, such as small ceramic animals, child-sized stepping stones, small chairs, hammocks, fountains, ponds, birdhouses, wind chimes, garden globes, sundials, flags, decorative plant markers, birdbaths, toad houses and even water spigot handles in the See GARDEN, Page 9 ^iirtevifr^ir^^ Equal Professional Service MENDQCINO COUNTY MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE 525 Main St., Suite A-1 QMH HQUtll Sunday, Jan. 30,1 -3 pm 48A Whltmore (Dlr.: Off of So. State St.) HOME PURCHASE LOANS t Terrific fcitts, Qukk Closings CASH-OUT REFINANCING * Rtmwtel, Invtst Whutwrl •lied garage «• Rv parking MERIGAN REALTY ' 462*0828

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