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Teaching Kids about Biodegradable Pots
Posted on April 26, 2012

Topic(s): Kid & Family Gardening

Peat Pellets and Peat Pots
Peat pellets and peat pots are good examples of biodegradable seed-starting pots you can use in the garden.
By Charlie Nardozzie


It's seed-starting time in many classroom and homes. While some seeds may have already been sown indoors, there is still time for many quick-growing seedlings such as basil, lettuce, and cucumbers to be seeded in pots. It's also a good time to talk to your kids about the different types of pots to use for seed starting, especially biodegradable pots.

Most gardeners use plastic pots to start their seeds. Eventually these pots will break and be thrown away, adding to the size of our country's landfills. Another way to successfully grow seedlings indoors for outdoor transplanting is to use biodegradable pots. These pots are made from materials that naturally break down in the environment. It also means you don't have to disturb the seedling's root system by removing it from the pot during transplanting.


Here is a project that will help your kids learn about biodegradable pots.


Bring in a selection of seed-starting pots including plastic pots, plastic trays, peat pots, peat pellets, cow pots, and paper pots. Describe the different pots. Pass the pots around and ask the kids about the differences between the pots and the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Show the kids how peat pellets work: add water to the pellet and let kids watch it expand into a full-sized pot.

Make paper pots with the kids using the bottom of an 8-ounce can. Wrap 3-inch-wide newspaper strips around the bottom of the can to form a pot. Lift off the can and add a dab of white glue to hold the bottom of the pot together. Add potting soil.

Have the kids start the same vegetable in each pot and grow the plants under lights indoors. Kids should treat all the pots the same in terms of watering and fertilizing.

Kids can chart the plant's growth in each pot and at transplant time. Talk about how to plant each seedling in the garden and why one type of pot may be easier and better to use than another.


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