In The Garden Word Find

Now available on Funschooling Press:



Find the 20 words hidden within this garden themed puzzle! 


This is an Instant Download – A Digital File. No physical item will be shipped.

Upon payment, you will receive:

1 – 3 page PDF file that includes:

1 – Full page printer-friendly word find (11 x 8.5).

1 – Full page Printer-friendly version of same word find (8.5 x 11).

1 – Answer page (11×8.5). 

Pages are not editable.

For personal use only. Print as many puzzles as you like, but do not resell this file or any printed material for profit. 
Copyright © by Fran W and Funschooling Press. All rights reserved.


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Plant Propagation

Better Homes & Garden: 
Propagating Houseplants &

Making More Plants From Cuttings – How to make more plants from plant cuttings.

Gardening Know How: Starting Plant Cuttings – How To Root Cuttings From Plants – Types of cutting and how to root them.

The Balance: Best Plant To Grow From Cuttings – 19 Plants that can start from cuttings.

WikiHow: Plant Propagation: Offers steps to propagate plants. Includes pictures.

Wikipedia: Plant Propagation – Explains the process of plant propagation and methods.

National Seed Swap Day 
(Official Day is the last Saturday of the month each year.)
Save your seeds all year long then plan a seed swap!


Tower Garden: 7 Ways to Celebrate National Seed Swap Day – The author talks about his experience at a Seed Swap Day, why they are important, and how to celebrate the day.


Seed Savers.org: National Seed Swap Day 2017 – Info about the day and the benefits of going to one.

Days of The Year: Seed Swap Day – Information about the origins of the day and how to celebrate it.


The Herbal Academy: How To Plan A Seed Swap Day in Your Neighborhood – How to save seeds and plan the event. & How to Save Seeds: From Harvesting to Using Them – Tips for saving seeds.


Extension Services: National Seed Swap Day, January 31st, 2015 – Information about the day and how seed swapping was done by other cultures.

YouTube: Plant Propagation Playlist – The videos in this list show you how to propagate a variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and houseplants.
Here are one of the videos in the list…



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Poinsettia Resource Page

Information
University of Illinois Extension: Poinsettia Facts – Interesting facts and information about Poinsettias. Includes anatomy info, history of the plant, and number facts.

The Spruce:  Poinsettias – Keepers or Compost? – Caring For Your Holiday Poinsettia and Getting It To Bloom Again Next Year (How To)

Teleflora: Meaning & Symbolism of Poinsettias – This short article talks about the many names given to the poinsettia, some history about the person it is named after, and what it symbolizes in different cultures.

Why Christmas.com: Poinsettias At Christmas – Where this plant comes from, how it was used by other cultures, plus an old Mexican legend.


Wikipedia: Poinsettia – Description, Religious and Other Traditional Associations, Creation of the American Poinsettia Industry, Cultivation, Diseases, and Toxicity claims.


Crafts

The following sites have instructions for how to make the craft suggested.


DLTK: Paper Poinsettia Flower & Poinsettia Paper Plate Craft

First Palette Kids’ Crafts: Poinsettia Ornament

Planet Smarty Pants: Poinsettia Crafts for Christmas – 12 Crafts suggested, most made from recycled items.

Artists Helping Children: Christmas Poinsettias – Three poinsettia crafts are offered on this site: One using cardboard tubes, a coloring page, and a finger print picture.

Super Coloring: Poinsettia Coloring Pages – 6 pages offered.

Coloring.ws: Mistletoe and Poinsettia Coloring Pages – 7 poinsettia coloring pages offered.

Videos

YouTube: Poinsettia Playlist –  Learn about the history of poinsettia, how to care for them, make some crafts, and listen to a story read by the author.

Here’s one of the videos in the list… How to fold a poinsettia flower, origami

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


Gardening With Recycled Materials

There are quite few containers that can be used as inexpensive gardening tools such as seedling starters, planters, and tools.
Here are a few of the things you can save:

Food grade plastic containers in all sizes: Yogurt and sour cream containers, soda/water bottles, fruit cups, milk/water/juice/vinegar jugs, salad, cake/cupcake, and plastic take-out containers, 5 gallon water jugs, buckets, nut/candy containers, parmesan cheese containers, juice bottles, litter and other large food grade containers, coffee containers (K-cups and large containers), vitamin bottles, and others.

Other Things To SaveStyrofoam: Cups, take-out containers, and egg cartons – cans – glass jars – cardboard egg cartons – milk/juice cartons, newspaper, cardboard tubes, and whatever else you find useful!

Ideas For Use


Plastic cups can be used to plant seedlings. Larger ones can hold a flowering plant and most herbs to full growth. They can be decorated with paint and stickers and given as gifts too. Pop holes in the bottom with a drill or use a candle, nail, and pliers to make holes. (Adult supervision suggested.)

Plastic containers with lids, water bottles, and vitamin bottles are great for storing seeds. Soda bottles can be turned into self-watering planters, or used as a planter.

Milk cartons can be turned into planters that can easily grow a basil/herb plant, a flower, or lettuce. Paint the carton with acrylic paint and decorate with foam stickers or paint a picture. Milk cartons can be cut down and used as temporary plant markers for seedlings.


5 Gallon containers can be turned into a self-watering container garden.

Egg cartons can be used to sort seeds before planting or to start seedlings. 

Milk/water jugs make great watering containers. Simply pop a few holes in the lid with a nail or drill. Use plastic jugs to make plant markers too.

Salad containers can be used to store harvested veggies in the fridge.

Cardboard Tubes can be cut down and used to start seedlings.

Take out containers are great for watering seedlings and to put under plants.

Plasticware – Save your better quality plastic-ware to spoon soil to containers, rake soil to add flower seeds, or to smooth soil over seeds with a knife.

More Information

Inspiration Laboratories: Recycled Container Gardening With Kids – Upcycle various containers and household items to use in the garden.

iCreativeIdeas: 40+ Creative DIY Garden Containers and Planters from Recycled Materials – Almost anything can be used as a gardening container! Check out the suggestions on this site!

Note: Make sure all containers are clean before use and are food grade. Containers that are not food grade, or once used for chemicals, should never be reused.

Videos

Please visit my Gardening With Recycled Items playlist located on YouTube. 


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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Ways To Repel and Control Whiteflies, Naturally

Signs of Whitefly

Whiteflies can be really hard to get rid of once you get them, especially if you live in warmer climates! Personally, I do not like to use any kind of chemicals in my garden, so finding natural solutions to common pest problems like the whitefly is really important to me.

How to repel and control whiteflies – Naturally 

Here are some of the solutions I’ve been using and finding effective to keep whiteflies mostly under control.

  • Spray leaves with water to remove any whiteflies currently on the plant, then spray the top and bottom of all the leaves with a natural insecticidal soap. Commercial or homemade. 

  • Pick off any leaves that have the swirling signs of whitefly larvae. Crush and mash them up before discarding. If you put the infected leaves straight into the compost bin as they are, they will hatch and cause a bigger problem! (Guess how I know that!)

*If you choose to put infected leaves in the compost bin as they are, break them down with a shovel, then cover them completely with compost dirt and don’t disturb them for a few days!

Once the infected leaves have been removed, spray both sides of the plant’s leaves with a homemade solution of insecticidal soap and neem oil. There are natural commercial brands available as well, but I find having the ability to make my own much more convenient and cost effective.

For my homemade solution, I put 1 tsp of neem oil into a spray bottle, add warm water, then 1T of a liquid dish soap with lemon, and shake well before spraying the leaves. 

Plant flowers and herbs that repel or deter whitefly.

Another solution that I’ve been trying, and have found successful, is to plant flowers and herbs around the garden that deter or repel whitefly. Here are some of the flowers and herbs that keep whitefly away:

Flowers: Artemisias, Marigolds (French & Mexican), Nasturtiums
Herbs: Basil, Peppermint, Thyme

Here are a couple of sites with some other strategies for repelling and controlling whiteflies:



Choosing to garden by using a chemical free approach is time consuming, but totally worth it in my opinion.

If you know of some other ways to repel/control/prevent whiteflies naturally, please feel free to leave me a comment about it!


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Peas

Peas are a cool-season crop that come in three varieties: A garden pea with an inedible skin, and snow and snap peas, both with an full-sized peas and an edible pod.

How to grow: Instructions for zone 9, more information can be found for other regions (3-11) in the “more info” section below.


Growing Information

Planting time: Cool-weather

Sow:

Direct Sow Outdoors: September- Feb/March in other areas 4-6 weeks before last frost date.

Germination Time: 7-14 days depending on variety and soil conditions.

Grow Height:
Garden: 28-32″
Snap Peas: 48-72″
Snow Peas: 36+”
Spacing: Plant: 2″ Thin to 4-6″ apart, Rows: 18-24″
Tip: Use a trellis, netting, wire, string, pole, or tomato cage to support plant as it grows.

Spread: 6-8″

Soil: Loamy. Compost and manure can be added to the soil.  PH: Neutral
Fertilizer: Peas do not need a lot of fertilizer, but like phosphorus and potassium.
Tip: Before planting, add wood ash, and a little bonemeal to the soil.

Sun: Full Sun, Part Sun

Hardiness: Can handle moderate freezes. Light damage can encourage secondary shoots.

Harvest: Eat within 5 days of picking.
Garden: 60-65 Days
Snap Peas: 70 Days
Snow Peas: 58 Days

Fruit Size: 3″

Companion Plants: Beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, melons, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, turnip, marjoram, sage
Avoid: Onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives

Pests/Problems: Aphids, Mexican bean beetles, woodchucks, fusarium wilt, powdery mildew can strike in warm weather. Pea enation mosaic virus, pea leaf roll virus, root rot
Solutions: Plant disease-resistant pea varieties. Practice crop rotation to prevent root rot. Nasturtiums can help repel aphids, Mexican bean beetles and whiteflies. Control fusarium wilt disease. Deter woodchucks with pepper spray, talcum powder, or dog urine. Powdery mildew can be treated with a neem oil solution, or a sprayed with a solution of 1T baking soda, 1 gallon of water, and 1/2 tsp of liquid soap.

Water: Water deeply once a week and never allow soil to dry out totally, as this will reduce pea production. In hot weather, water daily if needed. Never water log plants. Don’t allow soil to dry out when peas are germinating, blooming or when pods are swelling.
Plants need 1/2″ of water weekly until they bloom, then 1″ a week until pods fill out.


Propagation: Pick mature peas, remove the seeds and allow them to dry out.


Nutrition Facts: 1 Cup Serving: 118 calories, .6g fat, 21g Carbs, 8g Protein, A good source of: Vitamins A, K, C, & B vitamins, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, copper, phosphorus, folate, and dietary fiber


Health Benefits: Peas are low in fat and contain nutrients that may prevent: stomach cancer, wrinkles, aging, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other diseases. They can also help regulate blood sugar and reduce bad cholesterol.

How to grow, prepare, & eat:

Videos


More Information:

http://www.ufseeds.com/Zone-9-Planting-Calendar.html

http://www.almanac.com/plant/peas


http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=55


http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene9697.html

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/peas/how-grow-snow-peas.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea


http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/green-peas.html


http://www.livestrong.com/article/407534-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-peas/


http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-peas-5767.html

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Artichokes

Artichoke

Artichokes are a species of thistle whose edible portion is the flower bud, before
the flowers come into bloom.

How to grow: The instructions below are for zone 9, more information can be found for other regions in the “more info” section below. Look for the Bonnie plants link.


Growing Information

Planting time: Spring/Fall

Sow:
Indoors: 6 weeks before last frost date, late November – early January
Direct sow: Mid-Feb – March
Transplant: Late Feb – late March (after frost)

Germination Time: 10-20 days

Grow Height: 3-4′ tall and 4′ wide.

Spacing: 3′ – 5′ apart. Plant can grow for up to 5 years where they are planted.

Soil: Fertile, well draining soil – sandy or loamy. 5″ of compost into a trench 8″ deep and equally wide.

Sun: Full to partial shade.

Fertilizer: Apply a liquid high-potassium fertilizer (potash) every 2 weeks during periods of active growth. When buds begin to form, apply a 4″ thick layer of compost around each plant, outward 12″.

Harvest: 85-100 days.

Companion Plants: Cucumber, sunflower, corn, peas, tarragon, and members of the cabbage family.

Avoid: Potatoes

Pests/Problems: Slugs, aphids, and botrytis blight
Solutions: Cut off leaves infected with botrytis blight and destroy them. Treat the plant with neem oil (fungicide).
Treat aphids with insecticidal soap.
Use slug traps or baits.

Water: Water about once a week. If soil is heavy and holds moisture, water less often. Hot regions, water more often. Plants won’t survive over watering, and too little will result in loose buds with poor taste. Avoid summer droughts and winter waterlog.

Zones 8 and warmer: After fall harvest, cut plants down to the ground level and mulch with 3-4″ of organic material (dry grass clippings, straw, leaves, ages manure, etc.).


Propagation: Allow plant to bloom and shrivel to brown. Cut dried flower, place it a paper bag indoors for 2 wks, shatter it and gather the seeds. Seed can remain viable for up to 6 years.


Nutrition Facts: 1 Medium Artichoke

60 calories, 13 carbs, .2g fat, 4.2g protein
Vit C 25%, Vit B6 5%, Calcium 5%, Iron 8%, Magnesium 19%

Health Benefits: Artichokes are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, folic acid, manganese, and potassium. They can help with digestive issues, lower cholesterol levels, protect the liver, and may help prevent cancer.

Videos: How to grow, prepare, & eat:

When To Plant

Tomatoes

Anytime of the Year


Urban Farmer: What to Plant Now

Almanac: Gardening 
Click on ‘Personalized Planting Calendar‘, type in your zip code to find out what and when to grow, and when to harvest.

Spring & Summer
Articles & Information

About: Organic Gardening: Vegetable & Herbs To Plant In August


Radish


Fall & Winter
Articles & Information

Mother Nature Network: Fall Vegetable Garden


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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!


Grow Your Own Strawberry Plant from Seeds

Strawberry plant by Fran W.
There are some very interesting ways to grow strawberry plants!

In addition to growing strawberries in a traditionally raised bed, they can be grown in towers, containers, in unusual planters, in a hanging planter, upside down, in soil or hydroponically. Talk about a versatile plant!

Strawberry plants can be purchased in garden stores and come in a variety of types, but if you’re interested in starting your own plants, there are a couple of ways to start them from the strawberries you purchase in the store.
Collect your seeds (achenes)…

To grow strawberry plants from seeds or achenes, you can carefully remove them from an over ripe strawberry with tweezers, or by scrapping the skin lightly with a knife, or a fingernail.

Another way to extract the seeds is to put a strawberry into a food blender, along with 2 cups of water, and run it on the lowest speed for 10-30 seconds.  Allow the pulp to float to the top, pour it into a cup, and harvest the seeds on the bottom of the container. You may need to blend the berry a little longer to get the seeds to separate and that’s okay, run the blender on a low setting, this way you don’t damage the seeds. 
Tip: Make strawberry lemonade out of the pulp water by adding some fresh lemon juice and sugar (to taste) to the cup.

Whatever method you choose to use, put the seeds on a paper towel and allow them to dry out. If you’re not planning to use them right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to plant them.

If you don’t want to collect seeds yourself, they can be purchased from a garden center or on line.

Sprout your seeds…

Once harvested or purchased, the seeds can be sprouted one of two ways:

  1. Put dry seeds on a moistened paper towel and place in a zip-top bag in a sunny location. Keep the paper towel damp and the bag closed. When you see sprouts beginning to form green leaves, carefully remove the seedlings and plant them in small containers filled with fresh, nutrient-rich soil. 
    Put the seedlings in a sunny place and keep the soil moist until they are ready to be transplanted into a garden.
  1. The seeds can also be started in containers filled with nutrient-rich soil.  Put your containers in a sunny location and keep the soil moist. When your seedlings are ready, transplant them into a garden.
Note:It can take 2-3 weeks for the seeds to germinate and they may not germinate all at once but a few at a time. 

Tip: Recycled yogurt cups or egg cartons make good seedling starters.

Activity suggestion: While you’re waiting for your seeds to germinate, think about the type of strawberry garden you would like to make when your plants are ready to be transplanted.

Would you like to make an unusual planter, grow them hydroponically or stick to the traditional strawberry beds? How will you protect your strawberries from the animals that eat them?

Related strawberry article: Strawberry Craze


Here are some strawberry You Tube videos that you may find helpful.

Sprouting strawberry seeds in a plastic bag 2:07




Growing strawberries from seeds in soil 3:37


Growing strawberries from runners 9:37


Recycled strawberry hanging pot 3:17


Growing strawberries in small spaces 2:06


How To Build Your Own Strawberry Tower – 

using aquaponics or hydroponics 


http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/UcdtIx1PkS8&source=uds

Laundry Basket Turned Strawberry Planter


This activity is part the Strawberry Craze series.

Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery:

A yummy and fun way to start the day or enjoy as an anytime treat.

Find out how strawberries have been used over the centuries and make strawberry hull tea.

Learn about strawberries by using your senses.

Find out how to extract DNA from a strawberry using simple household items.

More strawberry related activities can be found in my ebook Strawberry Craze. This 91 page ebook is filled with 30 strawberry-related activities and 15 yummy, kid-friendly recipes. Click to learn more.


Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!