← Go back Small Green Thumbs: Container Gardening for Toddlers
Published on Thursday, May 25, 2017 by

ContainerGardening240With more and younger families buying condos, townhouses and houses with small backyards, the thought of having a garden may no longer seem feasible. Yet there is a solution. Container gardening can be an effective way to grow beautifully-coloured flowers, vegetables and herbs. Consider this option when outdoor space is limited (smaller decks and backyards).

Make gardening a fun afternoon activity for your toddler. Give them something they can grow and harvest for the family dinner table or flowers they can water and nourish.

Getting Started
Select some pots in assorted sizes for your plants. Generally, the larger the better, as more soil will help keep the plants well-fed and watered. Get creative. Remember anything that can hold soil and water can become a pot. Consider planting marigolds in a rain boot that your child has grown out of. Ensure the pots have good drainage or a deep base for soil. Shovels and watering cans make gardening fun for your children. And they will love having their own work gloves too!

Decide whether you want to plant bulbs; transplant flowers; plant seeds or buy pre-planted veggies and herbs for your container garden. Often the time of year will dictate your options. Head over to a local nursery for some valuable tips.

Make sure to get your children involved from the start. Ask them what they would like to grow. If they are involved in the choice, they are more likely to help out and be more engaged in caring for the plants and watching them grow. Does your daughter love yellow flowers? Consider purchasing sunflower seeds. Does your son want to grow a bean stock as tall as the one Jack climbed in Jack and the Bean Stalk? Then consider buying a package of seeds to grow green beans.

Explain to your child that plants need soil, sun, air and water to grow. Keep in mind that gardening can get a bit messy at times. However, when children are involved, they remember more and stay more engaged.

Check Your Options
Choose a plant variety that has a high degree of success because children love seeing their plants thrive. Peas, beans, carrots, peppers and radishes all grow well in pots. Lettuce and radishes germinate quickly from seeds and grow quickly. Many varieties can be harvested after a short growing season. Lettuce and other leafy greens are a great way for your toddler to learn about the different greens used in salads.

When growing herbs and certain veggies, like tomatoes, transplanting is often easier than starting from seeds. Visit your local garden centre for veggies that can be easily transplanted into your own containers.

Many herbs are perennials such as chives or rosemary and require little care.
Some plants thrive in cool shade and others prefer full sun, so keep that in mind when choosing your plants.

If veggies are not your thing, consider sunflowers for your container. They germinate quickly and can be two feet tall within a short time.

Make it Fun!
You can also let your child pick out some basket stuffers at the nursery and have them plant a pot of their own beautiful flowers. Encourage them to help fill up the pot with soil and water the flowers, once they have been transplanted. Children love getting their hands on the watering can!

Remember that little gardeners thrive on encouragement. So be sure to praise their efforts and encourage them to show off their hard work. Doing so will help motivate them to keep watering their gardens and take pride while watching their plants grow!

Happy Gardening!

Lindsay is a wife and mom to two little boys. She is a full-time professional, soccer player, lifetime traveler and lover of learning. She resides in Langley and is constantly exploring new ways to enjoy every minute she can with her family, while balancing a career and the pressures of living in our fast-paced society. Check out Lindsay’s blog at www.carpediemourway.com

 

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