Fun Springtime Garden Projects for Kids

 
garden projects for kids
Kids absolutely love to dig in the dirt, help in the garden, and experience life growing around them.  Helping mom and dad in the backyard offers kids fresh air, exercise, learning experiences, and family bonding.  It’s a win-win situation, and what’s not to love about that? With a little bit of patience and some planning, even parents who are novices in the garden can enjoy this wonderful backyard experience with their kids.  Check out my other gardening tips.  If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got the perfect garden projects for kids:

Plant Garden Bulbs Together:

Beautify your landscaping with beautiful blooming flowers, Hostas and elephant ears this year. Let your child help select the plant bulbs and plan out your soon-to-be gorgeous garden beds. Spring and fall are the standard planting times for bulbs. Let the kiddos help you dig the holes, insert the bulbs the right way, and measure the distance apart with a ruler. Your kids will be thrilled with what blooms the following season and feel so proud of their accomplishment.

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Build a Kid-Size Garden

First, give your child the gift of their own garden. And by gift, we mean the pleasure and learning they’ll get from it because it truly is a gift to them. You can buy a ready to build raised garden bed at a big box home store, build a DIY version with leftover wood, or give your child an area of your regular garden and fence it off.  Furthermore, let them pick a few veggies to plant and let them be responsible for the planting and watering (with your guidance, of course). When a child sees their fruits and veggies go from seeds to the dinner table, they’ll feel so proud! Studies show that kids who are active in growing their own food, are more apt to eat it too. So go ahead and plant the rainbow!

Plant a Butterfly Garden

Also, this fun idea is probably the easiest and reaps the most benefits. Pick an area of your yard or use a big container planter and fill with rich, black soil. Pick up an inexpensive packet of Butterfly Garden Seeds. Let your child sprinkle the seeds on the dirt and water. Watch all the different varieties of flowers bloom and attract butterflies and humming birds.

Start a Worm Composter

So, your first thought might be “oh yuck” but your kids and garden will love your worm composter. You can buy a pre-made composter or build your own DIY version for around $5. It’s very easy to make and only requires a bit of drilling holes and setting up the bin. Vermicomposting requires worm compost bedding and compost worms (can be ordered online). They will need to be watered and fed which your kids can be responsible for. The compost created by the worms makes your garden grow like crazy and healthy too. Your kids will be more fascinated by the worms.

Add Bug Repellant Plants Around Play Areas

Next, pick up a few Citronella or Lemongrass from your local garden store to use by your children’s play areas. Both Citronella and Lemongrass repel mosquitoes and flies, which are both a nuisance to kids playing. Using a few containers you have around the garage, fill with dirt and fill with the Citronella or Lemongrass plants and water. Place around the outer edges of your kids’ swing set and sandbox.

Make Homemade Stepping Stones

Last, this project may be a little messy, but it’s so much fun for the whole family!  The difficulty of this project will depend on the age of the children. Find rocks on your property or a nearby park to make your stepping stones.  Give them a good washing with soap and water and then paint them with non-washable paint.

Another fun idea is googly eye balls glued on to make “pet rocks.”  This is a great craft to do with kids.

A more advanced approach is making your own stepping stones with Plaster of Paris.  Just mix the Plaster of Paris with water in an old bucket, and pour into molds.  Also, fun molds are available at art supply stores or you can use simple disposable aluminum baking pans. While the Plaster of Paris is still wet, you can etch in names, add gem stones or other finds, and paint when dried. Stepping stones also make great gifts for grandparents and friends.

Max Warehouse is your one stop shop for all your home and garden needs, home organization and improvement, auto, lawn care and everything in between.  We have great products for your garden projects for kids too. Whether your project is large or small, they have your back!  Free shipping over $50.

We hope that you enjoyed our garden projects for kids, and will select a few to implement in your garden this spring.

How To Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

gardening tips

 

Last week I posted a seed sowing schedule that I use to help organize and keep me on track with sowing my kitchen garden seeds and suggested that you use it to help organize your kitchen garden too.  I hope you found it beneficial. I had also mentioned taking inventory of your peat pots, you will need them to sow your seeds indoors if you want to get a jump on the growing season.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips.  You will become a frugal vegetable gardener too.

To help cut down on the expense, I make newspaper seedling pots to sow my seeds indoors if I miss the boat on finding peat pots on clearance at the Dollar Store or Big Lots. I thought I would show you how to make the pots to cut down on your expense too.  If you have children that can handle making the pots, let them spend the afternoon making them for you.   

What you will need:

  • Newspaper (single sheets folded in half)
  • Pint jar 
  • Duct or scotch tape

In the above picture, I’m using 1 single sheet of newspaper folded in half.  You will want to fold the paper across not length wise. Next,  I used a pint size canning jar, leaving about a 1/4 inch of the mouth of the jar out of the newspaper as shown below. Roll the jar until all of the newspaper is used. Make sure the newspaper is rolled evenly.  Tape the ends of the newspaper together.  I actually used scotch tape, but duct tape will work too.    

 

Turn the jar upside down. The opening of the jar should be face down.  Fold the bottom of the newspaper as if you’re wrapping Christmas gift.  Tape the folds down. 

 

 

Remove the jar from the newspaper, and you have a newspaper pot.  These are great for starting herbs, tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, melons etc. Fill the pot with seed starter mix (I use Miracle Gro) and you’re ready to plant your seeds according to the package. Don’t use potting soil to start your seeds indoors.  The soil is to heavy for the plant to emerge through.

Once the seed has germinated and has grown 2 – 3 inches tall, I transplant them into plastic cups to give them more room to grow.  You can leave them in these newspaper pots if you’re leery of transplanting.  If you leave them in, I recommend removing the newspaper before you place them in your garden or containers. I’ll discuss transplanting seedlings in a later post.  

When you start your seeds you will want to water from the bottom up so you won’t displace your seeds.  I also recommend planting 2 or 3 seeds in your pot.  You have better odds of germination using 2 or 3 seeds.  Once the plant(s) has grown 2 – 3 inches, you can leave the strongest seedling and discard the other plants.  

Just pinch off those you don’t want and discard them.  If you’re feel brave transplant all of them.  Sometimes plants will suffer transplant shock when you pull them apart at the root so don’t be disappointed if all don’t survive. 

I use a tray to hold and water my seedlings.  You can purchase the trays at your local dollar store.  They usually come with cells of 72, but I remove the cells and just use the trays to hold my water and seedling pots.  

I don’t like the cells because they are so small and you will definitely have to transplant if you use them.  I prefer to let the plant have room to form a nice root ball in a newspaper or peat pot, and if I’m short on time I don’t have to worry about transplanting. Efficient and cost effective is my goal.  

 

I germinate my seeds on heat pads under grow lights.  You can start them on top of your refrigerator if you don’t have heat pads or in your laundry room on a shelf. Seedlings really don’t need light to germinate, they need warmth and moisture. Once they germinate, you will need to place them under a grow light immediately. The light should be no more than 2 inches above your seedlings or they will get leggy. You must raise the light as they get taller.

 

This is a picture of my tomato and pepper plants that I started last season in peat pots and the watering tray that you will need. See how the pots are soaking up the water from the bottom. Fill the tray half way with water and allow your pots to absorb it. If you need to add more water add a little at a time. You don’t want your pots sitting for days in a water filled tray I cover my peat pots with Saran Wrap to help keep in the moisture when I’m germinating the seed. Rubber bands are used to keep the Saran Wrap nice and tight. This step is not necessary, but I find it helps with germination.  I remove the Saran Wrap immediately once the seeds have germinated.  Unfortunately, I can’t use this method with the newspaper pots.
 
You will need to check your pots several times a day. You can have no germination in the morning and sometime during the day they may germinate. As soon as I see green stating to come through, I remove the Saran Wrap. Tomatoes have a tendency to jump up, so you may want to remember that if you have them covered with the Saran Wrap. I also use plant markers so I will know what I’ve planted.  Stay tuned I will show you how to make your own markers to cut down on expense.
Now start making those newspaper pots or your peat pots so you will be ready to sow your seeds and remain on schedule with your kitchen garden. If you have small pots that your purchased flowers in last year, you can use those too.  You will need to clean them in a bleach solution before using.
 
If you have questions about this post or other gardening questions feel free to send an email to The Mail Box using rhonda@mother2motherblog.com and I will respond.  I may share your questions with other readers, but I won’t use your name or email address.  They may have the same question or find the information useful too.
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