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Kids Gardening: a Kids' Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt.

Turning a tiny seed into a big healthy plant is one of Mother Nature's most miraculous performances. Fortunately, she handles all the tricky parts. And armed with Kids Gardening, you can quickly learn to do the rest.

The gardening book for any climate, any time, and any kid plants the seed for a great garden with tips on getting your garden ready, how to start seeds, how to feed your plants and make your own compost. Packed with dozens of garden activities for indoors and out, Kids Gardening also comes complete with a handy spade, plus 15 varieties of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds.

Learn which bugs are your garden's friends and foes, as well as how to chase away unwelcome guests. For example, did you know that worms actually make great garden helpers? They tunnel through the ground under your plants, making sure the roots get plenty of air and water. Worms eat dead plants and turn them into a rich food that your plants love. The book even offers a step-by-step guide on raising your own Wiggly Acres worm farm.

The easy-to-follow book guides you on preparing the soil, watering tips, and harvesting directions. Using herbs, vegetables, and plants from your garden, the book also teaches you how to make the most of hard work with instructions on making your own chamomile tea, dried flower bouquet, or guacamole dip.

Want to build a scarecrow for your garden? A few of Dad's hand-me-downs, a couple of sturdy sticks, and a close of imagination will soon produce your very own scarecrow and make your garden feel like a real farm.

Scarecrow

Having a scarecrow in your garden probably won't scare away too many crows, but they're fun to make and will make your garden feel like a real farm.

You will need:

Clothes for the scarecrow: a shirt, a pair of pants, gloves, even shoes and a hat if you want

Stuffing (straw is best, but dry leaves will work too)

2 sturdy sticks, one about 6 feet long, and another about 4 feet long

Heavy string

Safety pins

An old pillowcase

A permanent marking pen

A few nails

A hammer

1. Start out by making a frame for your scarecrow. Put the long stick on the ground and lay the short stick across it about 12 inches from the top. Nail the 2 pieces together (you might need a grown-up assistant for this part). Use a couple of nails so that the frame is good and strong.

2. Now pound the frame 12 inches into the ground using a mallet or hammer. If the ground is too hard, soak the spot with lots of water and try the next day. You can always dig 12-inch deep hole, put your frame in and fill the hole.

3. Use the pillowcase to make a head. Turn it so the open end is down, and draw a face on it. You might want to use a pencil to start, then go over your lines with a permanent marking pen. Fill the pillowcase with straw, then put it over the top of the frame so that the stick goes up into the stuffing. Tie the open end of the pillowcase tightly around the pole with a piece of string. If you're using a hat, pin it to your scarecrow's head.

4. Tie the ends of the parts closed and fill them with stuffing. Prop them against the frame so that the bottoms are just touching the ground. Tie the pants to the frame by running a piece of string through the back belt loop, then around the stick.

5. The short stick is going to make the scarecrow's arms. Put the shirt on so that the ends of this stick go through the armholes. Tuck the shirt into the pants and button it most of the way up. Fill it with stuffing, tying the arms closed at the cuff when they are full. Button the shirt all the way up, add stuffing then tuck the ends of the pillowcase into the collar.

6. Fill the gloves with a little stuffing and stick them on the ends of the arms.

7. You can make your scarecrow a little different by tying a bandana around his neck, putting sunglasses on him, or giving him a rake to hold.

Discover how rewarding gardening can be with Junior Master Gardener. For more information on gardening, visit the Junior Master Gardening Program at www.jmgkids.org. To order a copy of the Junior Master Gardener Handbook, visit our Web site at www.childrensdigestmag.org.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Children's Digest
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Words:766
Previous Article:Frog in the tub.
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