How Does Your Garden Grow?

Beginning gardeners learn the basics at My First Garden, a University of Illinois Extension site. Discover how to read a seed package, how to plan and plant your garden and how to grow flowers and veggies in unusual spaces. The site includes tips on how to plant a garden at school.

Older kids help Detective Le Plant and his partners Bud and Sprout unlock the amazing mysteries of plant life at the award-winning Great Planet Escape, another University of Illinois Extension site. Kids pick cases to solve such as "In Search of Green Life" and "Soiled Again!" As they dig up clues, they learn the facts about plants and can experiment with garden activities, including growing lettuce indoors, creating compost and making a seed viewer.

Unlock the door to the Secret Garden, trip trap over Billy Goat Gruff’s bridge and find the pot o’ gold in Michigan State University’s 4-H Children’s Garden by taking a virtual tour. The tour opens your imagination up to what gardens can be. Zoom in with the magnifying tool and take a 360-degree spin around each garden area or click on the live Web cam to see what’s growing.

If you like what you see, find all the tools you and the kids need to start your own garden growing at the National Gardening Association’s Kids Gardening Store. The site includes a Parent’s Primer – a virtual book on how to garden with kids. Discover how to get gardening grants for your school, look at bug mug shots to identify creatures in your garden and sign up for a free e-newsletter.

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From United Parenting Publications, June 2002.