Kids activity: Learn how to compost at home (includes coloring, drawing and more!)
Spring is here, which means it’s time to think about flowers and vegetables! If you’re interested in growing some nice things this year, why not start a compost bin to help your plants grow?
What is composting?
Composting is a great way to use up materials that would otherwise go in the garbage and take up space in landfills. It’s also a nice way to enrich soil so your plants will grow. Good compost is made of three key ingredients:
- Dead plant materials like leaves and twigs
- Household waste like vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells. (Don’t use dairy or meat though!)
How do I use it?
The first thing you need to do is start your compost. You can do this in something as small as an empty soda bottle or as big as a trench in your yard. If this is your first time, try the soda bottle first. Clean and rinse it thoroughly, then have an adult cut the top until you can open and close the bottle by flipping the top.
Put some soil in the bottom, and spray it with water. Add a layer of kitchen scraps like orange peels or coffee grounds and spray with water again. Then soil. Then leaves. Then soil, kitchen scraps, soil, leaves, and so on until the bottle is filled almost to where the top was cut. Each time you put down a new layer, spray it with water.
Put the bottle in a sunny spot, and roll it around every day to mix up the soil, scraps and leaves. If the soil looks dry, add a bit of water. If the bottle is wet with condensation, open it up and let it dry out a bit. After about a month, your compost will be well mixed and crumbly. That’s when you can start using it to feed your plants! If you start now, you’ll be able to use it when it’s time to plant, which is the middle of May in most areas.
Activity: Grow a garden
Now that you know how to help your plants, start an herb garden. You’ll need a patch of soil, seeds, soil and your compost!
Plant the seeds according to the instruction packet. Try not to put too many seeds in one spot, or they’ll crowd each other out and not grow properly. You can put a little compost in the hole you dig to help the seeds get started.
Cover the seeds with a little soil and water.
Put your compost around the outside of your plant as mulch.