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Celebrating St. Patrick's Day:
Growing Shamrocks

Now I know many folks consider clover a weed, but its still a pretty plant. The flowers of the different kinds of clovers are really nice. Here are some directions for growing White Clover, also known as the Irish Shamrock. There is also a few fun activities after the directions.

White Clover, trifolium repens L. is considered by many authorities to be the Original Irish Shamrock. When the rare fourth leaf occurs, you have the "Lucky" Four Leaf Clover.

(from http://www.fourleafclover.com/grow.html)

GROWING FROM SEED:

1. Seeds can be sown in small pots or trays using peat pellets, peat pots or any moist, well drained soil mix.
2. The seeds which are very small should be placed on the moist soil surface or lightly covered with soil. A clear dome or plastic cover should be placed over the pot or tray (supported at least 2" above the surface) and the pot or tray placed in a warm shaded location until the seeds have germinated (this will usually be in about a week). The top of a refrigerator is usually a good place.
3. Once the seeds have germinated and the first "seed" leaf appears (this will be a single leaf, not a clover leaf), remove the cover and place pot or tray in a sunny location, keep moist and do not allow soil to dry out. When the soil surface "lightens" and starts to dry, it's time to water. Depending on your pot or tray size and location, you may have to water every day or every second or third day. Only water, do not fertilize.
4. When two or three true clover leaves have formed, you can begin fertilizing with a liquid fertilizer at the recommended dosage for house plants.

TRANSPLANTING:

Depending on how you started your seeds, you'll want to transplant when roots appear out the bottom of the pot or tray. If you used a peat pellet or peat pot, just place the whole pellet or pot into a larger container with a well drained soil mix. If you started the seeds in a pot or tray with soil mix, be careful not to damage the roots when transplanting. After transplanting continue fertilization as before.

INDOOR CARE:

Keep plants well watered (make sure container drains well) and keep in a sunny location. Continue fertilization as before. Try to keep tips in contact with the soil and remove any damaged leaves. "Runners" that extend over the pot or tray edge can be cut off at the soil surface. "Runners" that grow over the edge will eventually wither and die off if they can't root.

OUTDOOR CARE:

Outdoor care is the same as indoor care, except increase the fertilization to the recommended outdoor amount for container plants.

Shamrock Facts
Four Leaf Clover Facts


Shamrock Coloring Pages:

http://familycrafts.about.com/library/color/ncolorshamkiss.htm
http://www.kinderart.com/color/shamballoon.htm
http://www.crayola.com/
http://www.melaniesgraphics.com/colorpages/cpshamrock.html
http://www.preschoolcoloringbook.com/color/cppatrick3.shtml
http://www.geocities.com/athens/6478/stpats.htm


Shamrock Crafts:

Shamrock Mobile
http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/_StPat.html
Lucky Shamrock
Shamrock Buddy
Shamrock Hat
Shamrock Pin


Honey Substitute

This is to be used on hot biscuits or toast or sliced bread or as a topping for coffee cake.

5 lbs. sugar
20 red clover blossoms
1pint hot water
12 white clover blossoms
alum size of a cherry
8 pink roses


Melt sugar with the water. Add alum and boil two minutes. Remove from fire and immediately add the petals of the blossoms and let stand ten minutes. Strain and bottle.

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