Youth Gardening

Pictured, Olivia Passig with the herbal seed pouch she made at the recent Master Gardener's Youth Gardening event

My inspiration for May's youth garden activity was a herbal seed pouch.

Seed packets were donated to Master Gardeners for programming use and for use in our community projects. Among the multitude of packets, a couple cilantro seed pouches surfaced.

The pouch contained expanding soil pellets. When water is added, the soil pellets expand, then you add the packet of cilantro seeds, water and watch it grow on your windowsill. Since we didn't have enough kits for our "Little Sprouts", I came up with an idea of how we could replicate this project for our group of gardeners.

I sewed hanging bags that are made from recycled woven plastic pet food bags. I designed the bags to be larger in size to hold plenty of soil for roots to grow abundantly. The woven plastic keeps the soil from drying out. Since the seams are not watertight, they allow water to drain. I designed the bag with a sturdy strap to hang the bag from a fence post, a wreath hanger, door knob, a nail or the back of a park bench. They are pretty versatile.

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We had an abundance of dried moss from a previous project and we used the moss to "top decorate" the potted plant after we were done planting. The kids had a selection of herbs and petunias to plant and take home.

Our next project on Saturday, June 29, will be terrariums. The program will start at 11 a.m. at Douglas Hart Nature Center.

If you have other questions about your garden or landscape, feel free to contact a Master Gardener volunteer at the University of Illinois Extension office in Charleston at 217-345-7034. You can also check out the many horticulture webpages at the U of I Extension’s website by visiting http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/ . And be sure to like the Master Gardeners’ Facebook page. 

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