Teach Your Children To Save Seeds
Teach Your Children To Save Seeds

Learn to save marigold seeds

Teach your children to save seeds! Do you have special memories as a child exploring nature?  Did you have a big back yard,  a favourite park or a Nan with a special garden like I did? Did you ever dissect plants, peeling away layers of bark or seed pods noticing the different shapes, colours & textures?

As a child, I can vividly remember yanking the dead seed heads of marigold bushes, the smell of the leaves, the way the foliage coloured your hands & the fun of rubbing the papery pods until the long thin seeds released.  

Marigolds are a flowering shrub that grow throughout the warmer areas of the world.  Being very hardy they’re often grown with food gardens as their pungent smell deters pests.  Marigolds flower prolifically & each flower can produce over 50 seeds making them a perfect plant to introduce children to the skill of “seed saving”.

Now obviously before you can save your marigold seeds you need a patch of marigold plants or you need someone to donate you some marigold seeds heads. 

Marigolds are a very commonly grown flowering plant & if you are an early childhood educator, you or one of your families may already have them growing in their garden.  And once you’ve saved the seeds you can then go onto growing more marigolds!  The cycle of life is truly amazing!

How to save marigold seeds

  • Ask your children to observe the marigold plants.  What do they notice?  Guide them to the flowers, the leaves & then notice the dried flower heads.
  • You’ll see the petals have fallen off & the brown seed head is what remains.   Explain to your children that the plant has created special seeds inside each dried flower.  Would they like to pick some & have a look?
  • You may need scissors to cut the seed heads off or depending on the variety, you may just be able to pull them gently off.
  • Fill a small bowl with flower heads & sitting down on the ground or at a table, guide the children to open the seed head apart.
  • Once the outside layered is peeled back, long black seeds should emerge, gently rub them together to separate.  Show the children that each seed can grow a marigold plant.
  • Continue until all of the seeds are released. Lay out on a tray to make sure they are dry.   Well done you have saved seeds!!!
Teach Your Children To Save Seeds

Extending on the experience

  • Create seed packets from small paper envelopes.  Have your children decorate & label the packets.  Make sure to add the date.
  • Gift seed packets to families & friends.  Each seed grows a plant, so 20 seeds in each packet is enough.
  • Of course, plant some of your marigold seeds into small pots filled with soil.  The seedlings should emerge in a week or two so keep on the dry side of moist.
  • Marigolds like full sun & grow in warmer parts of the country.  Try growing some in the shade & in full sun & see the difference of how the plants grow.
  • Create seed bombs by mixing soil & seeds together.  Forming a ball, allow the children to “bomb” particular parts of the garden where you would like marigolds to grow.

I hope you have lots of fun with your children exploring this very happy, generous plant and teach your children to save seeds!

If you liked this activity, you might also like to make a no-fail sensory garden.

And as always if you have any ideas, feedback or questions, please email me – hello@craftylittlefolk.com

Jasmine xx

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