You don’t need a schoolyard or backyard garden to observe plants grow – you can do it inside your classroom or kitchen. Growing plants indoors, even in small spaces, is much easier than you may think.
Many plants are engineered to grow in small spaces, and some can even live in a container all year long. Some plants can even be started with just vegetable scraps and water. Windowsill gardens can provide fresh herbs and vegetables all year long.
Don’t let your lack of space limit your options for teaching students about how plants grow. Students of all ages will enjoy these activities:
Wouldn’t it be nice to snap off a fresh piece of basil the next time you make homemade pizza? You can always have an herb garden at your fingertips when you create an herb garden on your windowsill. Growing vegetables and herbs in your kitchen is a great way to save on groceries and encourage a healthy diet. They can be kept in their original planters from the greenhouse or transplanted into something more decorative. Vegetables like lettuce are amazingly easy to grow indoors. Microgreens can even be grown in a week.
Regrowing Plants from Cuttings
Perhaps your grandma or great aunt had a windowsill full of planting projects. Here is a fun list of vegetables that will grow into more vegetables that you can eat, only using a cup of water. Included in the list is bok choy, cabbage, carrot greens, celery, fennel, garlic, green onions, lemongrass, lettuce and more. You can also try taking cutting from various plants that regenerate, such as avocados pips, African violet leaf cuttings, pineapple, and carrot stems.
Start Seeds in Upcycled Planters
Use recycled containers to start seeds indoors. Everything from eggshells to empty toilet paper rolls can be used to start seeds in the spring. Not only can you teach children about starting seeds and growing your own food, but you can also teach them about recycling. Some of these upcycled planters make great classroom projects for spring holidays or gifts. Check out the adorable planter person made from the bottom half of a 2-liter soda bottle and the cut egg heads.
Children love making terrariums. This simple and fun project is the perfect way to add plants to your home without taking up much space. Just about any glass container can be converted into a terrarium. Repurpose an old coffeepot, empty spice jar, mason jar or empty wine bottle. Terrariums make great teacher appreciation and Mother’s Day gifts.
Hydroponics for Small Spaces
Growing plants hydroponically eliminates the use of soil in your home or classroom. Plants can be grown hydroponically in something as simple as a mason jar. You can enjoy herbs all year long with hydroponics. You can even grow a simple herb garden in your kitchen using root herb cuttings in plain water.