Today’s post is by Emily Harper from SecurityOcean.com. Emily Harper is a busy housewife, and is also an active member of the neighborhood watch. She also finds time to blog.
Since gardening has always been ingrained in my system, I thought it is best to share this passion with my two children who are enjoying the time of their lives as kids. Entertaining our children with a range of activities such as planting and even building their own pot gardens are good ways to make them appreciate what may soon be a rarity.
My children have a natural inclination to learn by doing and love to play with dirt, I guess all kids do. Then, I think, container gardening is a perfect activity that fits both.
I have collated a set of step by step guide on how you can start building a pot garden for your child without having to ransack your pockets. You can also inflect your own ideas in the process.
1. Be familiar with the growing conditions.
Choose plants that have parallel growing needs. Make sure that the plants you select need the same amount of water and sunlight and can be planted in the same type of soil. Start by introducing your kids to seeds or sprouts and better if you encourage your kids to name the seed or sprout. Let us say “this tomato sprout’s name is Patrick”, and then label it. Provide letter stamps, wood sticks and pad to let your kid stamp their name on it.
2. Choose a container.
A variety of containers are available for gardening. You may want to consider reusing the sandbox. By this time, your children might have already grown past their sandbox years. Then, consider transforming the old sandbox to a garden bed. A familiar space inspires a sense of duty to the gardening venture as they continue to hold ownership of something of great value to them. You can use old toy cars too or old garden pots or any container that would interest your kids. Remember to put some decor to the pot, so it will be more attractive to your kids.
3. Pick a theme that suits the garden and your kids’ interest.
Involve your kids through the whole process, from sprout to table. Ask their opinion about colors and schemes. Colors like red and yellow, are warm and bright, and look good with wood. Blue or lavender which are cool colors, look calm and go with terracotta, stone and cool colored containers. Children might prefer to have a mix of both colors in their own garden.
4. Play with different textures.
Texture is important in gardening as it makes a good backdrop for the garden. Choose plants that have good texture as they will be making the design look more natural. Undergrowth is good for adding texture. According to experts, ornamental grasses are also a good choice; they come in many different sizes, colors, and growth habits.
5. Arrange the plants to his/her liking.
Try to mix and match the plants in your garden. Add in some tall trees and bushy plants. Do not forget to give your kids their own garden beds. Keep it small for young kids. Put their plots right in the center of the action, with the best soil and light. Provide them tools. Avoid using plastic or play tools. They break easily and frustrate the user. It would be a challenge to find good tools for kids, like work gloves fit for small hands. Allow your kids to use your tools if it becomes necessary. This is indicative of you recognizing the importance of the work they’re doing.
Container gardening may bring about several advantages; one of which is a stronger bonding with your children. As a mother, I suggest that you start now while you can still encourage them at least with pot gardening. As we all know, children have so much interest and as they grow up it becomes even more difficult to compete for their time and attention. So, do it now and do it not with yourselves but with your children.