Recently my young daughter asked me how I grow plants. I had to take a step back and really think about how to answer that. Honestly, I just plant things and don't really think about how. What I came up with is that I build a nest for my plants to be planted in so they can grow. This post is for my children and others to try to help them understand how I plant and grow things.
Most soil are not adequate for plants to grow completely without help. The soil needs to be prepared for plants in order for them to grow just like birds prepare a nest for their eggs to be placed. Without a good, safe place, the plants will not be able to grow and mature. Plants need food and water and the soil has to contain those things. It also has to hold water for the plants to drink from on a regular basis.
Fertilizer provides the food for the plants to consume. It can be commercial or natural but it has to be in the nest for the plants. This provides a continuous supply of important nutrients for healthy plants. Plants also need water to be able to drink when they are thirsty. Materials have to be added to the soil to help retain an adequate supply of water. Otherwise, the water will just dry up in a very short time during spring and summer months. There are many different things that can be added, such as wood shaving or dried moss. These things mixed into the soil will help it stay moist.
How to prepare soil for planting
Building the nest
By mixing all these things together you have the nesting material for a nest for your plants. The next thing to do is dig a hole that is deep enough for your plant's nest. It needs to be a few inches deeper then the roots of the plant that you are planting. This allows you to put some soil beneath the plants for them to carefully sit in. The rest of the hole is then filled in with the nest material to help hold the plant as it grows.
Caring for your nest
The final step is to keep taking care of the nest as the plant grows. Most birds don't just lay their eggs and fly away from them. They keep a constant watch over their nest as the eggs hatch and grow. Plants need constant watching, watering and weeding to keep the nest safe. By watching the plants, it can be determined if they are getting the proper amount of sun or if a wind break needs to be built to protect the plants. Netting may need to be used to keep birds or insects from getting to the plants. Keeping an eye on the plants will help them mature into healthy, productive plants.
Building a nest for your plants is very similar to how birds and animals care for their young. Plants need food, water, and weeding to protect them. If left to the environment, they will probably not survive. It takes work to raise plants, but you get back what you put into raising them.
Best Way to Enrich Your Garden Soil
Richard Lindsay (author) from California on May 11, 2016:
Thank you for the comment. It just seems a much simpler way to teach how plants grow.
RTalloni on May 11, 2016:
A lovely way of introducing children to the idea of gardening!