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Make a Mini-Garden

Are you eager to try gardening, but short on time and energy? How about making a simple dish garden?

Ranger Rick
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Participant Age: Under 7, 7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: Under $10, $10 to $100
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes, Over an hour
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Large saucer, a pie pan, or other shallow container, ideally with holes to allow drainage
  • Any decorations you want such as moss, sand, small shells, twigs, stones, sand, rocks, driftwood or wild-looking mini-branches
  • Gravel
  • A bottle for misting your garden
  • A few small shade-loving plants, desert-type plants or cactuses
  • Potting soil or cactus potting mix: two parts sand to one part peat moss (twice as much sand as peat moss).
  • Water
Spread gravel
Spread a layer of gravel on the bottom of a large saucer, a pie pan, or other shallow container.
Add soil and plants
Add potting soil or cactus potting mix and a few small shade-loving plants, desert-type plants or cactuses. Fill in around each plant with soil, packing it gently, and then water the plants lightly.
Add decorations
Add any decorations you want such as moss, sand, small shells, twigs, stones, rocks, driftwood or wild-looking mini-branches.
Mist your garden
Put your dish garden in a northern window—one that's not in bright sun. Be sure you keep the soil moist, not sopping wet. If you have moss, mist it every few days.
Allow drainage
It's a good idea to use a container with holes in the bottom and a plate under it. (You could ask an adult to help you drill some holes in a plastic saucer.) This keeps your garden from staying too wet.

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