Grow your own tomatoes
Tomatoes are easy to grow - all they need is sunshine, water and a bit of TLC. Encourage the kids to nurture their plants, watering them often and being vigilant against creepy-crawlies and weeds, so that when the first ripe red tomatoes are ready to pick, you'll all be able to enjoy the harvest.
What you need:
- several sheets of newspaper
- plastic cup
- shallow box or tray
- seed-raising mix
- tomato seeds
Lay a sheet of newspaper (half a broadsheet) flat in front of you then fold in half and half again. You should have a strip approximately 40cm by 15cm.
Place the cup on its side against one of the short ends of the newspaper strip and roll it up to create a cylinder. Shuffle the cup up a bit inside and then push the newspaper firmly against the bottom of the cup to form the base of your pot. Remove the cup.
Make several newspaper 'pots' and nestle them together in a shallow box or tray. Fill each about two-thirds full with seed-raising mix.
Plant 1-2 seeds in each and cover lightly with the mix. Water well.
Leave in a sunny position and wait for your seeds to sprout.
Once the second set of leaves has developed, your tomatoes are ready to be transplanted into larger pots or straight into a garden bed. You can plant them pot and all - the newspaper will break down in the soil allowing the roots to push through.
- If you find your pots refuse to keep their shape, use a piece of sticky tape or a paper clip to hold them closed. Be sure to remove this before transplanting your seedlings into the garden.
- If you are using more than one variety of tomato, make simple labels by writing the names onto paddle pop sticks and inserting them next to the seeds.
- If you live in a very cold area, bring your tomatoes inside at night-time until they are well-established.
- This activity was created by Greer Worsley. Greer blogs at Typically Red.
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