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Greenhouse Newsletter - Growing Projects for Kids

November 1st, 2005:


November 2005
Volume 7


Gifts for the Gardener
Gardening Indoors With Kids
Carrot Tops
Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit and Oranges
What's up, Guac?
Chocolate Lemonade Recipe
Fun Facts


Whew, October just flew by! Christmas will be here before we know it, and this year I have vowed to get going earlier. In this issue, I have outlined our finest gift selections for the gardener on your list (including yourself of course). And, let's not forget about our "little green thumbs", there's lots to place under the tree for them too! Introducing your children and grandchildren to gardening can be fun and exciting for the entire family. For those of you who do not yet have a greenhouse, I've listed some fun indoor gardening activities that can be enjoyed by children and adults during the cold winter days that will soon be here.


Gifts for the Gardener

The ultimate gift for any gardener is their very own private backyard greenhouse. The greenhouse is sure to please for many years! For gardeners who enjoy starting seeds early, check out our selection of mini greenhouses and cold frames.


Why not personalize a large garden pot or wicker basket for children or adults by filling it with gardening goodies. Tuck in a pair of our new Botanically Correct Gloves, a few packages of exotic seeds and a pair of Sloggers Garden Clogs.

One of my favorite gifts is tree seeds. I start the seeds indoors, and transplant them outside once they are big enough. I usually plant them to coincide with a special event or time. For example, each year on our wedding anniversary, we plant a tree or small shrub. It brings much more meaning to our home and each tree brings cherished memories. I also enjoy giving trees and shrubs as gifts to friends and family commemorating the birth of a child, a wedding, anniversary or birthday.


We do have a special line of gardening products just for kids. Gloves, seeds, Jack in the Beanstalk and Sunflower Seed Kits are sure to spark the gardening bug.


*Brand New - cute as can be aprons with our Greenhouse Kids logo in two sizes. These aprons come with handy pockets and fit sizes 4-8 years and 8-12 years and can be used for gardening, crafts, in the kitchen or for play. You can even personalize with your child's name, in red, green or blue. Sloggers Kids Clogs will complete their gardening ensemble.

Gardening Indoors With Kids

You just came home with the groceries. There are likely all kinds of things that children can grow right in the kitchen. Here are just a few of the groceries you can grow.

Carrot Tops

These plants are quick to sprout and only last a few months.perfect timing for winter. You'll need a shallow bowl (2-3 inches deep), some small stones and 3 or 4 carrots (use the kind that are sold without the greens). Cut the carrots down about 2 inches from the crowns. Fill the bowl 2 inches deep with small stones, then gently push in the carrot crowns until they are firmly anchored. Add lukewarm water almost to the brim and place on a sunny windowsill. In 3-6 days you should see the carrots sprouting their leafy tops. Top up the water when required (every other day). When they start to look tired, simply throw them away and grow some new ones!


Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit and Oranges

Before you start growing these seeds, see our recipe below for Chocolate Lemonade! Citrus plants are slow growing, however, are worth the wait with their glossy leaves, slender trunks and fragrant flowers. They can be developed into indoor trees and can reach a height of up to 10 feet. Plant your seeds " deep and slip each pot into a ziplock bag (creates a greenhouse effect). Remember to label your plants so you know what they are. Place the pot on a warm sunny windowsill, near a radiator, or on top of the refrigerator. As soon as sprouts appear, remove the ziplock bag and continue to keep in a sunny warm spot. On average, citrus seeds sprout in about 2-4 weeks. After the plants produce 2 sets of leaves, keep the strongest seedling in the pot and remove the others. Begin to give the plant nutrients with a houseplant fertilizer diluted at half strength. Keep the plant moist, but never soggy. Better to be on the dry side than too wet. When roots peak through the bottom of the pot, transplant into a larger pot. You can enjoy these wonderful plants for many years to come. You can also take them outside onto your deck or porch during the summer months.just introduce them gradually so they don't go into shock.




What's up, Guac?


Who doesn't like guacamole? Avocados are quick and easy to grow. Use a 6 or 7 inch plant pot to avoid immediate transplanting. Purchase an avocado at the grocery store, remove the pit, wash it off and leave on your counter-top overnight to dry. Hopefully the papery seed coating will come off easily, but you may have to work it gently with your fingernail. Fill the pot with soil, push the pit in flat end down until it is about two-thirds covered. Do not bury the pit completely as it needs light to germinate. Water it well and cover with a ziplock bag.
The first sign of germination is a split in the pit. Avocados prefer indirect bright light and soil that is moist and not soggy. Cut back slightly on watering during the winter months as the plant enters semi-dormancy. Prune the plant to keep it bushier. Wait until it has at least six good sized leaves, then remove the top two leaves along with any new growth. Keep repeating this procedure until the plant has grown 2-3 feet. When the plant reaches 3 feet, transplant into a larger pot.

Make Some Chocolate Lemonade

Make some chocolate lemonade with your lemons and oranges, then grow the seeds later! Great to serve at your next party! Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Lemonade

1 cup of water
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 - 1 1/2 cans of frozen lemonade concentrate (6 oz)
1 gallon of water
- 1 cup of chocolate syrup
2 sliced oranges

Boil 1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar for 10 minutes and let the syrup cool. Add 2 cups of fresh lemon juice and frozen lemonade concentrate. Then add 1 gallon of water and chocolate syrup. Mix and chill well. Serve over ice with orange slices. Mmm!

Fun Facts

Early greenhouses in Europe and North America were called "Orangeries" and "Pineries" for the oranges and pineapples grown.
(Photo is an early greenhouse located on the Iowa State University grounds)



The largest pumpkin grown in last year's New York pumpkin contest was grown by Elizabeth Weimer of Newark, N.J. Her pumpkin weighed in at 120 lbs., was 69 inches in circumference and 34 inches high!

Sunflowers are easy to grow from seed. With the proper care, sunflowers can grow as much as 12 inches in one day! The Guinness World Record for the tallest sunflower is 25' 5 ".


Happy Thanksgiving

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Perhaps there will be something from your thanksgiving dinner that you can grow with your children or grandchildren.  Whatever you grow, it is sure to be cherished and remembered by your family members.
Backyard Greenhouses
A div. of Ecolad Corporation


Written By: Shelley Awad
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