Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

2nd Annual HSV Garden Challenge: Sharing the Gardening with the Next Generation

There is nothing more exciting than sharing something you are excited and passionate about with your own kids, and that is what excites me about the HSV Garden Challenge!  I love gardening and love sharing the joys of gardening with my children! When the kids were younger, the extent of their garden involvement was eating the delicious fresh produce, but over the last couple of years they have gotten old enough to share in the joys and wonder of sowing seeds, watching them sprout, some tending and lots of harvesting.  :)  Last year the kids planted Zinnia seeds and monitored their growth during our garden challenge.  It was a joy for me to see the kids check on the health and progress of their flowers all the way into the fall. :)

This year they will be starting their own vegetables (beans).  Our 'garden lessons' started last week as we studied V = vegetable (we are using the My Father's World K curriculum).  We spent a lot of time talking about what kinds of vegetables can be grown in a garden and examining how a seed becomes a plant.  Using the Gardening Preschool Pack from Home School Creations, a children's encyclopedia, and The Magic School Bus: Plant Seeds, we re-enforced that plants need soil, water, air and sun to grow strong, tall and healthy.  To further re-enforce this we set up an experiment that I tailored after an idea I'd seen on Pinterest for observing root development

We planted a bean seed in four different glass jars.  One was a control which has all four elements, but in each of the other three jars we left out one of the four elements.  We created a chart and have been recording our observations each day of school.

#1 - Control: has sun, water, air and soil(paper towels)
#2 - missing the sun (inside a paper bag that we closed with a paper clip)
#3 - missing water
#4 - missing soil
(Truly eliminating air from our experiment is not possible in our setting so it is not included.)

In one weeks time, we have watched the seeds that had access to water swell and either sprout (#1, #2) or spoil (#4).  It has become obvious to the kids that without water seed #3 will never sprout, but while it is obvious to me that seed #4 is rotten and will never grow, the kids are still watching and waiting hopefully.  I expect sometime in the next week I will have to put an end to #3 before we are all asphyxiated by the smell of it!

Our plan is to continue to observe these seeds until they have outgrown their jars and then transplant them into another container or the garden where we can continue to observe them and hopefully harvest from them.  To support our studies we are reading several books including, The Magic School Bus: Plant Seeds, The Tale of Peter Rabbit,  Zinnia's Flower Garden, Jack's Garden, Growing Vegetable Soup, The Carrot Seed and more.  I also hope to include the kids in planning and planting our backyard garden in the next month. 

On the fun and more creative side, early last week we took a field trip to the grocery store and looked at all of the creative vegetables that are found in the produce section.  We purchased several and had a veggie party for snack.  Later in the week we used several veggies as stamps to create a veggie and flower garden like the one Peter Rabbit raided in "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". 

Whether you home school or not, I challenge you to make a plan and be intentional about including your children in your gardening endeavors this year.  I'd love to hear how you plan to include your kids in your summer garden plans this year. :)

Happy Gardening! :)


  1. Oh I just love this post. THIS is what the challenge is all about. THANK YOU!

    1. Thank you for hosting the Garden Challenge again this year! We LOVE it! :D

  2. Oh, I want to be in your homeschool! LOL It looks like you are off to a great start! I am definitely going to make a list of the books you read. I had totally forgotten about the Magic School Bus book! I think we might eve have that on a VHS tape. My oldest LOVED Magic School Bus when he was younger. I can't wait to see your next post on the garden challenge!

    1. Thanks Joy. :) The Magic School Bus is a favorite in our home too. I hadn't thought of watching any of the shows. I'll check the library and see what they have when we go next week. Thanks for the idea! ;)

  3. Looks like a fun experiment going on in your home as well this gardening season! I look forward to seeing what your jars reveal!

    1. Experiments are so fun & packed full of learning adventures! :D Thanks for stopping by Heidi.


I would love to hear your gardening comments and/or questions.