Tips for Container Gardening with Preschoolers
As everyone with a green thumb knows, big gardens can quickly become overwhelming. As weeds grow, it takes more and more time to keep a garden looking beautiful and neat.
Family can take time away from working in the garden, meaning that the backyard can get messier and messier. Add a preschooler to the mix, and the enjoyable act of gardening can quickly become frustrating. Start small, and container gardening can be an excellent introduction.
Read on to find out how to mix preschoolers and container gardening and be successful.
#1. Keep the Plants Similar
Plants don’t have to all match, and it just means that you want to place plants with similar growing needs in the same container. Watch out for sun and water requirements before you put a bunch of plants together.
#2. Leave Room for Growth
While it’s tempted to pack flowers into a container as tightly as you can, this will only prohibit their growth in the future. Make sure you know how much space each plant gets before you crowd them.
Another thing to consider is that trailing plants will need room to spill over the container without ending up on hot pavement or in water and that you’ll need a deep pot to accommodate the roots that vegetable plants have.
#3. Pick the Right Dirt
Digging up some dirt from your backyard will certainly fill a container and allow you to put plants in it, but it won’t have the nutrients that your plants will need to flourish.
Instead, it’s best to buy some high-quality potting soil that will not only feed your plants but also stay light and fluffy so that the roots can grow deep in the dirt. You don’t want a soil that will hold too much water, as this can drown your plant.
#4. Pick the Right Container
You’ll need to make sure that the container you choose can be reached easily by your preschooler.
It’s frustrating not to be able to dig in the dirt and pick the flowers that you’ve grown, and unless you want to lift your child each time they want to garden, you’ll need to choose a container that is size appropriate.
Make sure that it has sufficient drainage holes in the bottom so that the water can easily drain from the pot.
#5. Allow Your Preschooler to Pick
Picking the flowers or seeds is one of the most fun parts of gardening.
While you should keep an eye on the requirements of each plant as discussed above, letting your preschool pick the plants to go in the container will give them a sense of ownership and make them much more likely to want to work in the garden.
#6. Grow Some Food as Well as Flowers
While flowers are gorgeous, growing some basil, oregano, and baby tomatoes in a container is a great way to encourage your preschooler to try new foods.
Calling it a “pizza garden” and then cooking with what you’ve grown will give your child a great sense of pride. There are few things more exciting than eating what you’ve grown and shared with your family!
Starting a container garden with your preschooler is a wonderful way to introduce them to gardening, working on a project, and sharing what they grow with others.
While it is a little more work than just creating and caring for the garden yourself, you’ll reap the rewards for years when you encourage your favorite preschooler to spend time in the garden with you.