By Kari Svenneby
It is late spring and summer is on its way, it might be time to put your plants and flowers in the ground.
You don’t have to have a big backyard be a gardener; it can be on your balcony or in a small backyard in pots and containers. In our household we have planted seeds in early spring. It was fun to watch them grow and our daughter was thrilled when she saw the first sprouts break the soil.
She was fascinated seeing how fast sugar peas and cucumbers grow. We already have transplanted them outside in containers and pots. If you did not seed this year, go to your local garden center and buy some seedlings for your garden.
Your choice of containers is limited only by the imagination. You can buy all kinds of different styles but don’t forget to reuse old containers. Old kitchen pots and garbage bins can get a new life after your child and you paint and decorate.
Choosing soil and compost
Buy potting soil for containers in nursery’s or garden centers. A lot of ready mixes are ready to go with the proper balance of nutrients. When you get more experienced as a gardener you can start mixing your own soil with different kinds of compost.
Whatever you choose: either bought or recycled it is essential that there is drainage for water. Too much water is just as much of a problem for your plants as too little. Make sure that your commercial containers have holes in the bottom and put holes in the bottom of your recycled pots. To further encourage drainage put gravel or broken pieces of pottery in the bottom to allow drainage.
How to plant the plants
Different vegetables need different space in the container. It usually says on the seed package or seedling pack.
Take your container and put gravel or broken pieces of pottery in the bottom. Fill it with soil and plant following the proper spaces between the plants suggested. Water, and voila you are done… Except that you has to keep up the good work with watering the plants. Containers need regular watering; when it starts to get hot, water maybe needed every day. Best to water them in the morning
A Fun gardening craft to do with your kids
The book “Organic Crops in Pots” by Deborah Scheneebeli-Morrell inspired me to be creative with my child and her friends. We reused old ugly plastic garbage bins left behind by the former owner of our house.
1.This bin was a big bin, so I had to cut it in two. It is an understatement to say that this is strictly an adult job to be done without any kids around. Wash them well.
2. We took out all our paint brushes and acrylic paints and painted the buckets in different shapes, stripes, sun and flowers etc. Be creative!
3.The next day we invited her friends over for a planting party, and we planted our sugar peas with willow branches and tomato plants in another bucket. The moms planted herb seedlings into baskets and clay pots. Every guest got a tomato plant to take home. The kids all had fun doing it.