Have fun with your kids while doing something useful – container gardening! This will certainly help keep them from getting bored and they will love learning how to plant in garden pots. And, seriously, what could possibly be better than getting their little hands dirty while growing their own food. They might just be inclined to try some new foods they wouldn’t ordinarily try (I know this works since I saw it happen with my own 6-year old son.)
A good place to start is with the containers. Garden pots can be made from a wide variety of raw materials like wood, stone, clay, plastic, etc. The safest material that I would recommend for your kids is plastic since it is really hard to break and its lightweight. The second best option is wood. Usually wood containers don’t hold water well and are used for decoration. You will probably end up putting the pot that holds our plant into the wood one.
This is a really good time to have your kids decorate the pots. On both wood and plastic, acrylic paint works great. Be sure to use paints that are non-toxic. Once your child is finished, pick out a location now where you want the pot to go since it will be harder and heavier to move when its filled with soil.
I recommend using a good potting soil as opposed to putting in plain old dirt. Potting soils are blended specifically for use in containers and they are made to hold water (which means less watering – and less maintenance). Its always a good idea to help freshly placed plants get a good start by feeding them with the proper nutrients. Mix the recommended amount into the potting soil (a guide will be printed on the bag). Be careful not to add too much as this can kill the plant.
Pick your plants according to size and type – flowers, vegetables or herbs. Some plants (like tomatoes) require larger pots. If the plants do get too large for their pots, they can be easily transplanted into larger garden pots later. So, you can see how this is a great project for kids as the plants need their love and attention as they grow. Your kids are sure to love seeing the fruits of their labor.
Andy Raydall has been working in gardens since early childhood and has always been interested in educating others on gardening and landscaping techniques. If you’d like to know more about container gardening, visit AllGardenPots.com