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Container Gardening for You and Your Kids

Apr 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM Chime in now

Container Gardening with Kids

Nisian Hughes/Iconica/Getty Images

By Debbi Donovan

Even if you don't have a backyard, you can create a special garden to enjoy with your children. All you need is a container, a few stones, soil, a plant or seeds, and some sunshine. Container gardening is a lot of fun for little ones. They enjoy working with the smaller and more manageable area that container gardening naturally provides. With container gardening you and your children can enjoy year-round gardening, no matter where you live.

What type of containers can be used? Get creative. Use the large shell you brought back from the beach last summer, your child's old wagon, a Lego planter made by your child, or try your child's favorite old shoe. Before tossing out a toy that your child no longer uses, consider using it as a planter. Of course garden shops also sell pots that are intended for planting. Before potting your plant, be sure the container you have chosen has holes in the bottom for proper drainage. If it doesn't have drainage holes, don't worry. Most of the time you can just drill your own. Place a few stones or several layers of newspaper over the drainage hole. This will hold the soil in place, yet allow the excess water to drain.

The amount of sun needed for your container garden will depend on the plants you have chosen. Most seed packets and plants bought at nurseries tell how much sun that particular plant requires. Certain plants, like ivy, thrive in areas where there isn't much sun at all, while most flowering plants, and those producing vegetables, often require lots of sunlight to do their best. Do some research together at the library or through Internet gardening sites to determine what plants will work best in the area you have chosen. It's important if mixing several plants in one container to choose those that have similar sun and watering requirements.

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