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A Garden from the Garbage Pail
From Superkids by Jean Marzollo - Illustrations by Irene Trivas

Many of the activities on these pages may require adult supervision.
Be sure to tell a grown-up about what you're planning and ask for permission before getting started.

Watch what you're throwing away.


1. Avocado Plant

Dry an avocado pit for a few days. Peel off the onionlike skin. Poke three toothpicks into the pit and set it over a glass of water so that just the bottom is wet. The fat end should be down. Place in indirect light. In three weeks a root should grow down, and soon after a sprout should grow up. Using packaged planting soil, plant in an 8-inch pot, not quite burying the pit. When the stem is 7 inches tall, cut it back halfway to make the plant branch.


plant illustration

2. Beet and Carrot Garden

Save the tops of beets and carrots that have stems still on them. Cut the stems back to 1 inch. Fill a pie plate with water. Sprinkle the bottom with small pebbles. Arrange beet and carrot tops, stems up. Place in indirect light. Keep the pebbles and the bottom of the vegetables watered. You should see new plant growth within a week.


plant illustration

3. Sweet-potato Vine

Buy a sweet potato that is already starting to sprout. Stick toothpicks in it, as you did for the avocado pit, and set in a jar filled with enough water to cover half the potato. Set in a warm, dark place and check daily, adding water when necessary. First the wet part will make roots. Then the dry part will send up a stem. At this point move the plant to sunny light. The plant will grow as a vine, so place it where it can cling to something as it grows. You do not need to pot it in soil.

vine illustration



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Based on the book SUPERKIDS: Creative Learning Activities for Children 5-15
Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

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