If you have either a small yard or porch, it's possible to grow a garden in a pot. Some plants - such as strawberries and tomatoes - grow particularly well in a container. You can also consider growing plants that grow up a trellis, such as cucumbers, green beans or miniature melons.
If you'll be planting in a regular garden, then I've found the easiest plants for kids to grow are gourds, zucchini, green onions, green beans, radishes, pumpkins and cherry tomatoes.
If your kids would prefer flowers, then try petunias, marigolds and pansies which are both easy and rewarding to grow. Read on to find some fun craft ideas that you can incorporate into your gardening sessions with your children...
A special note:
Your involvement in the garden with the kids is really the most important thing! They want to be with you and to make this a truly family activity, it's a good idea to participate in all stages of the gardening!
Outdoor Gardening for Kids
Before you begin your garden, it's a good idea to plan it out first. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
1. Do you want to grow plants from seeds, or start with young plants?
2. Do you want to grow flowers, fruits, or veggies, - or all three?
3. Is it the right time to plant?
4. Which plants need the most sunlight?
5. Which plants do not?
6. Where will you put your garden or pots?
7. Do you have everything you need?
After you have looked around and found the perfect spot, now you can start planting! Using a trowel or a spade, dig up the soil in your plot. If you are growing plants from seeds, you will need to dig small holes in the soil making sure to follow the directions on the seed package for how deep to dig the holes and how far apart they should be spaced.
Drop one seed in each hole, then cover it lightly with soil. When you're done planting seeds, make sure you water them very well. You can add some plant food or compost to get your seeds off to a good start.
If you're planting baby plants, you will need to dig the holes farther apart. The plants should have a tag stuck into their pots that tells you what to do. Water the plants until the soil is soaked.
Every few days, check the soil to see if your plants need to be watered. If the soil is moist, you don't need to water, but if it feels dry, give your plants a little drink.
The best time to water your plants is in the early morning or late in the afternoon, while the sun is not too hot. Don't over-water them, though, because giving your plants too much water is as bad as not giving them enough!
After planting, you and your child will have the joy of watching your plants grow. Teach your child which plants are the "good" plants, and which ones are the weeds. Show them how to weed the garden.
Later in the season, the kids will enjoy harvesting their veggies or picking some of the flowers they have grown. Having a special basket or ice cream bucket for the kids to use to pick veggies with you keeps things easy. There may be fewer squashed tomatoes that way! As you pick together, you are teaching what ripe veggies look like, which are good, and which aren't.
Gardening for kids is a lot of fun, and the quality time together is something your child will remember!
Gardening for Kids Crafts
Growing plants indoors is just as much fun as creating an outdoor garden - and it's a little easier, too!
The first thing you need is a container in which to grow your plants. You can buy all different sizes of pots from the store, or you can grow your plant in just about any container from home!
Clean, empty milk cartons, yogurt containers, butter dishes, egg cartons, sand buckets, pie plates, styrofoam cups, etc. - as long as it will hold soil and water, you can grow a plant in it!