Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Container Gardens

Growing an edible garden can be a great activity for kids this summer! A home garden lets your family eat local, know where your food is coming from, eat healthy, and save money. Plus, kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they come from their own garden! Not all families have the space, time, or soil quality to create a large garden in the backyard. Container gardening is a great alternative that allows kids to have their own small space to care for.

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Barrels, buckets, hanging baskets, clay pots...choose a fun container! Decide on a container that will match the amount of depth and soil needed for the plants you'll be growing. Avoid containers that could have previously held harmful chemicals. Find containers that have holes for drainage or make a few holes near the bottom to allow water to run out. You can put a saucer under the container to catch water, just empty it regularly.

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Planting seeds

Let your child choose what to grow and what they will eat! Sugar snap peas, sweet cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots are usually easy to grow, but you can try any vegetable your child wants to grow. Look at seed packets to learn the best times to plant different crops.

Caring for the garden

Start with a mixed blend of potting soil. Add nutrients to your container garden with commercial fertilizer or compost materials. Teach kids to keep the soil evenly moist by watering frequently. Let them pinch off dry leaves to make room for healthy buds. Kids love to track the progress of their growing plants by measuring plant height and counting new leaves.

Enjoy harvesting and eating your edible garden!

For more ideas about involving kids in gardening, try these resources:

Start a Container Garden with your Family
Easy Foods Kids Can Grow in the Garden
Growing Edibles in Containers
Gardening with Kids
Create an Edible Container Garden with Kids

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