Saturday, March 21, 2015

Growing a Pineapple

Today is a beautiful Spring day in Southern Illinois. The gardening urge is fully upon us! Natalie will be tending the houseplants as her new responsibility and she is starting to Grow a Pineapple from the directions in Sow and Grow: A Gardening Book for Children

This will be a great research opportunity for her! Leah is sitting with Cinder Block Gardensand researching which plants on our list should be direct sown and which should be started first indoors (or purchased as seedlings). We have a sparse selection of seed packets left over from last year: lettuce, spinach, carrots, fennel, and sunflowers. Obviously, we need to head to the store to buy seeds and plants! Leah will mostly be starting seeds indoors and/or making toilet paper seed tape, depending on the plants. Leah is at the age where she likes to read it from the book and follow the directions instead of having me guide her through a lesson, so I will show her "Seed Roll-Ups" on p.41 (toilet paper tubes and paper towel rolls) and "Mini Greenhouse" on p.42 (plastic strawberry containers); both are in Project Garden: A Month-by-Month Guide to Planting, Growing, and Enjoying ALL Your Backyard Has to Offer

We have saved several strawberry and kiwi clear plastic containers for this. Add them to our heap of toilet paper and paper towel tubes!

We've also gotten two cabbage plants from the school; tending the large veggie starter plants will be Becca's job.

The first thing that Leah discovered when doing her research is that we need to know the last frost date for our area. The Let's Grow Veggies website let us put in our zip code and then told us that, for our area,
Last Frost Date (2015): 4/29
First Frost Date (2015): 9/25
Average Growing Season: >158 days
USDA Hardiness Zone: 6A

That puts us at five weeks before the last frost date... and in plenty of time to start some seeds.

(Click for an interactive version of the map and more information from the US Department of Agriculture)

Baby Cabbage is kicking me, the sun is shining, the children are being industrious, and life is good.

So, onward & upward!

1 comment:

Renee said...

We DID eventually successfully grow a brand-spankin'-new pineapple plant from a pineapple top but it wasn't by following the instructions in the children's book above. I used the instructions from 17 Apart and they worked perfectly! Our luxurious pineapple plant is still going strong (winters indoors in the bathroom, summers outdoors under a tree) and it is enormous. No pineapple yet, but I have been impressed by what a beautiful -- and huge -- houseplant we got!