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SMART Gardens

SMART's teaching gardens help parents and educators learn how to grow food with young children. We make it possible for people to bloom where they're planted with small-scale food-growing strategies and resources. 





Benny’s Pennies
Written by Pat Brisson 
Illustrated by Bob Barner

Cookie’s Week/La Semana de Cookie 
Written by Cindy Ward 
Illustrated by Tomie DePaola 

Curious George Plants a Seed/Jorge el curioso siembra una semilla 
Erica Zappy 

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear/El Ratoncito, La Fresa Roja y Madura y El Gran Oso Hambriento 
By Don and Audrey Wood 
Illustrated by Don Wood

The Carrot Seed 
By Ruth Krauss 
Illlustrated by Crockett Johnson 

Leo the Late Bloomer 
By Robert Kraus 
Illustrated by Jose Aruego 

Inch by Inch 
By Leo Lionni 


The Very Hungry Caterpillar 
By Eric Carle 

Written by Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright 
Illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker 

The Grouchy Ladybug 
By Eric Carle 

Buenas noches, maripositas 
Del creador de Diez pequenas mariquitas 

Jump, Frog, Jump/Salta, Ranita, Salta 
By Robert Kalan 
Pictures by Byron Barton 

Eating the Alphabet 
By Lois Ehlert 

Water Every Day 

Unless It Rains


Think about coffee grounds after the coffee is made. They are moist, not soggy. That's how the soil should be for your vegetables all the way down to their roots. If your temperatures rise above 80 and 90, you will need to water more often. If the plant is in a container instead of in the ground, you will need to water more often. Smaller containers dry out faster. 


More Watering Tips

  • Don't water the tomato leaves. Water the roots. 

  • Gentle shower spray is best for tiny sprouts and new seeds. 

  • Mulch can help retain the moisture in the ground, so plants do not dry out as quickly. 

  • Watering is a big job, but it is perfect for children who want to help.


Is a cucumber a vegetable or a fruit?
It depends on who's talking. 

To a botanist, a biologist who studies plants, a "fruit" is the part of the plant that has the seeds. It is also the part of the plant that emerges from the flower. The cucumber flowers pictured above became cucumbers, like the one hanging from the vine. To a chef, the flavor is what counts. A fruit is sweet, like apples, or sour, like lemons. Freshly picked vegetables are crisp and offer a wide variety of unique flavors.
"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad." ...Author unknown

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