Container Gardening with Children: Square Foot Gardening Style

July 22, 2010

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After the success with our square foot gardens, yes we have enjoyed delicious homegrown tomatoes throughout the summer, I decided it was time to give our sad potted plants a makeover. The soil mixture recommended by Mel Bartholomew in his book All New Square Foot Gardening has worked out fabulous for our hot Texas climate. Our container plantings needed a boost of rich soil that would also require less watering.

Our homeschool container gardening project first began when MacGyver spied the packets of seeds at our local home improvement store. Soon Miss Enigma was in on the action, begging for brightly colored seed packets. There are much worse, and much more expensive, things my children could be eying, so I easily consented to them each selecting one packet. MacGyver selected the sunflower mixture, while Miss Enigma opted for the bright pink zinnias.

Our planting day began by heading out back to plant the sunflower seeds. We’re doing a little growing experiment. Will the seeds grow if we totally and completely ignore them? So far this method is not proving to be a huge success.

Then we were ready to stir up a little of Mel’s Mix (Mel Bartholomew: Square Foot Gardening).

1/3 blended compost (this creates a nutrient rich soil)

1/3 peat moss (this creates soil that drains easily)

1/3 coarse vermiculite (this creates soil that holds in moisture)

Then mix, mix, mix!

Time to plant! I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love gardening. (We always put something like a left-over plastic pot turned upside down in our large pots. This way we don’t waste all of our rich soil down at the bottom of the pots and the pots don’t get so heavy.)

One month later, Miss Enigma’s zinnias are busy growing and keeping a pineapple plant company. We can’t wait for the bright pink flowers to bloom and for the pineapple to grow us a little fruit!

For more information on square foot gardening with children visit our previous post.

All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!

We’re also “In My Grandpa’s Garden” with a FREE printable song.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy @ NurtureStore July 23, 2010 at 3:12 am

I love the photo of the kids getting messy! There is so much value in children growing thier own. We’ve been enjoying some small world play in our fairy garden.

maryanne July 23, 2010 at 7:34 am

Sounds like I should look into that square foot gardening post! I love that you let your kids cover themselves in dirt!

Lora @ my blessed life September 24, 2010 at 7:36 am

My kids love gardening, too! This looks like a great book.

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