July 17th, 2024

Science Smarts: Get them helping in the garden without even knowing…

By Patty Rooks on June 8, 2024.

I am always looking for inventive ways to involve others in my gardening projects. Often times, I receive a great deal of resistance when it comes to planting my garden, so I can up with a way to do it without those little helpers even knowing! Let’s get started.

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.


– Two packages of your favorite flower seeds

– Newspaper

– Blender

– Water

– Fine mesh strainer

– Sponge

– Absorbent towel

– Baking sheet

– Wooden spoon

– Sink

– Science helper


1. Find a good sturdy flat surface to work on.

2. Place the baking sheet on the flat surface.

3. Lay the towel on the baking sheet.

4. Set aside for now.

5. Rip up enough newspaper to fill the blender about half full. Push it down gently; you do not want it too tightly packed in there though.

6. Fill the blender almost to the top with warm water.

7. Pulse the newspaper shreds/warm water mixture for about ten seconds. Go slow. You may have to take the lid off and stir it up a little bit to get it moving.

8. Blend for about thirty seconds or until very smooth and you can no longer see any shredded up newspaper.

9. Sprinkle the seeds into the pulp mixture. DO NOT BLEND. Stir gently to distribute them evenly.

10. Have your science helper hold the mesh strainer over the sink.

11. SLOWLY pour the pulp mixture into the strainer.

12. Gently push the mixture around with your hands or the spoon to try and squeeze as much water out as possible.

13. Carefully turn this mixture out onto the towel.

14. Using a damp sponge gently spread the pulp mixture out as thin as you can.

15. Be creative here; make different shapes if you wish.

16. Set the baking sheet aside to dry.

17. Once the top is dry, flip it over so the other side can dry.

18. These make great Mother’s Day cards!!

19. When you are ready, take your paper outside and plant it in a location for your beautiful flowers to grow.

20. Do not forget to water the seeds so they can grow into flowers!

What is going on?

In this experiment you made plantable paper. This is a biodegradable paper made with post consumer materials. What that essentially means is that no trees were harmed when you made this paper. You recycled the newsprint that you likely had just lying around the house. The new paper you made is extra special because you embedded seeds in it. When you are finished with this paper (writing on it, or using it for cards etc), take it outside and plant it in the soil (or in a pot) and the paper will compost away. All that will be left are the beautiful flowers.

Patty Rooks, senior scientific consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community.” Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, http://www.praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. Address: 12 826 11th Street SE, Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email: praxis@praxismh.ca.

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