This year I am working with my toddler to get our container garden up and running. It has been a difficult, but rewarding process. My goal is to create a beautiful assortment of containers filled with vegetables. I also want a kid who enjoys hanging out and spending a little time in the garden. I am still unsure if either of these goals will be successful, but we’ve been having fun. Here is the plan:
1) Plant seeds separately in small containers indoors. We keep a handful of these on our kitchen table where we can watch their progress daily. Every morning we check to see if the seedlings need water. When they are dry, we water them. Plants include tomatoes, peas, small flowers, herbs, and zucchini.
2) Transfer seedlings to larger pots, and keep inside by the window. It is still a little colder than usual where we live, so we made the decision to transition our seedlings to larger containers before moving them outside. We check the containers daily to see if they need water.
3) Move containers outdoors. We recently completed this step, and I am happy to say the plants are still thriving. We no longer water them as often, but we still check on them daily to see if they do need water.
4) Involve kids in replanting process – selecting containers, adding soil, adding nutrients, planting seeds, and transferring seedlings. Allow kids to weed and tend to plants in any way they can. Do not stress. Let this be a learning process where they can see the positive and negative results of their efforts. If my kid isn’t interested in checking to see if the plants need water one day, then we don’t check.
5) Harvest together. Don’t be afraid to let your kids pick the fruits and veggies themselves. This is often quite rewarding, and even if it might mean some results are lost (my kid LOVES picking unripe things), the goal here is not just having food on the table. Try to coach your kids to choose the ripe and ready fruit and vegetables, but if they choose one that isn’t ready give it a try. Take a look at the difference between the two.
6) Prepare meals based around your container results. Enjoy as a family dinner.