Container Garden Vegetables ~ Grow With Your Kids

Gardening has been a wonderful learning opportunity for our kids and is a family project we all enjoy doing together. Our gardening project of choice:  Container Garden Vegetables.  We are gearing up for spring by starting our seeds indoors, as we do every year.  It’s a great opportunity for science learning (how do seeds grow?), reading practice (seed packets, books about gardening) and handwriting (marking which seeds are in which containers). We have some container garden ideas to share with you. It’s so easy and fun to garden this way, and it’s less work than a regular garden plot, too.

container garden vegetables

Choosing Seeds

First, we let the kids choose the seeds they want to plant for our container garden vegetables and I set up a seed learning area for them to plant, care for, and explore the seeds and soil. If you want to do organic container gardening,  organic seeds can be found at most garden centers and big box stores as well. We keep our seedlings indoors until there is no chance of frost (about May 1st where we live).  organic container gardening

Preparing Soil

We live in Virginia where the hard clay soil requires years of conditioning, to yield the ideal soil for growing vegetables. Raised beds are quite popular. We built those at our last house. For our current house, we put in a small plot directly into the ground in addition to patio and deck containers.  After two years of working the soil in the plot, we decided our efforts were best spent on the bounty of herbs and vegetables that were flourishing in our containers. Also, to get to our plot, we had to go down a flight of deck stairs from the main level and around the side of our house, making watering the garden an easily forgotten, if not dreaded, chore in the hot summer.  Watering the deck containers, on the other hand, was easy and fun. The kids loved to take turns caring for the plants there, and my husband, whose passion is cooking, enjoyed stepping out to the deck from our kitchen to cut some fresh herbs or pick some fresh tomatoes or peppers from the containers while he was cooking. We used a basic gardening soil mix from our local gardening center to fill our containers. Make sure the containers have adequate drainage. If not, drill holes in the bottom of the pots before filling with soil, or add a bottom layer of pea gravel or other small stones. Transplant the seedlings to the containers. container garden vegetables So what can you grow in containers? Well, almost everything, really, but here are the container garden vegetables, and a few other things, that we’ve had success with.

10 Things You Can Grow in a Container Garden

  1. Carrots – my kids’ favorite!
  2. Strawberries – You want these in a container anyway, because they tend to overtake other plants.
  3. Mint – another plant that should be contained, otherwise it takes over and you will be up to your ears in mint.
  4. Any and all herbs: Basil, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Dill.
  5. Tomatoes – We’ve grown all varieties successfully in containers but especially love grape and cherry tomatoes in our container garden. Add a small trellis or cage to support them as they grow.
  6. Lettuce – This is a favorite with the kids because it grows quick and early and can be replanted again throughout the growing season.
  7. Radishes – Since they are small and compact, they can grow in smaller, more shallow containers.
  8. Peppers – All varieties of hot peppers are small plants that grow well in containers (jalapenos, habaneros, banana, cayenne) and we’ve also successfully grown bell peppers here as well.
  9. Cucumbers, melons and squash. If you have your containers on a patio where the vines of these plants can travel to the ground, where the fruit will develop, you can grow them in containers, too. 
  10. Flowers! We love to mix flowers into our vegetable and herb plant containers. It makes the deck look even more colorful. Plant low growing flowers like petunias, which will cascade down the sides of the container and cover some of the exposed soil. 

container garden vegetables

My little Love Bug as a toddler, helping his Aunt Francine with her container gardening.

Thank you to our sponsor, HALLS®, for sponsoring this post. Disclosure.

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vegetables you can grow in a container garden

I was compensated for this post by HALLS via BlogHer network.  

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Water Beads and Shaving Cream Pretend Play

“Cake batter” (shaving cream)…

shaving cream pretend play for preschoolers

Plus some “sprinkles” (water beads)…

add water beads to shaving cream

And a spoon for mixing and spreading…

spreading shaving cream over water beads

And you have some wonderful, quiet, sensory fun.

Cost: about $4, but only because my 4-year-old grabbed the shaving cream can and emptied the entire contents onto the tray.

I thought, “Cool. That’s some rockin’ fine motor skills, being able to operate a spray can of shaving cream.”  Nice job, little guy.

For more information about where to find water beads and ways to use them, see our Water Bead Science post.

waterbeadscience

Water beads should not be ingested. Please supervise children and pets closely when playing with water beads. 

For more preschool fun and learning, follow our Preschool pin board on Pinterest.

We’ve also been playing with snow….indoors over at Kiwi Crate’s The Studio.
indoor snow play

How to Make a Daisy Chain

Do you remember making daisy chains when you were a child? Oh, the endless pretending possibilities of a pretty flower crown on a long summer day. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a daisy chain with your child.  

How to Make a Daisy Chain

Isn’t this just another reason why summer is so awesome?

How to Make a Daisy Chain

  1. Pick daisies with stems 1 to 3 inches long. The longer the stem, the more space between each flower on the crown; the shorter the stem, the closer together the flowers will be on the crown.
  2. Make a slit in the stem of a daisy, just below the flower.
  3. Weave another stem through the slit.
  4. Keep doing this until you have a long chain of daisies woven together.
  5. Tie the two ends together to make a circle or crown.

 

It’s fun to decorate your dog with daisies, too. Even if she then tries to eat them.

Father’s Day Craft: Clothespin Dog

Valerie, from Glittering Muffins, is secretly guest-posting her father’s day craft here on Creekside Learning.  She and her cutie, Nico, made it but need  to keep it a surprise for her co-blogging husband, Alex.  Ssshhhhh, don’t tell!

I was looking around for something Nico could do for Alex for Father’s day. I found  plenty but many required to be done outside due to the mess factor. Don’t know about your weather but ours as been weird, rainy, cold, grey, just not good weather to be outside with no clothes on, making a mess. So plan x it was, I found one that Nico could help make that was also useful. I like useful crafts, must be my practical side, lol.

We made a clothespin puppy, it’s an old one but still cute. Now Nico has been a little anti-everything that is not tv of late. Since he’s a big Curious George fan I suggested we make Hundley for Father’s day. I showed him the photo and video of it from Family Fun and he was all for it!

Look at that happy painting smile :D

So we set out to paint our clothespins, since painting is one of his favorite things to do.

You think there is enough paint? LOL

And he made sure they were well covered, lol.

After a few hours the paint was finally dry. I won’t even try to explain how the pins connect, there is no way I can do so as well as them so I followed the video (I suggest you do so as well) and glued the pins together using tacky glue (stronger than white glue).

Photo op!

Before gluing anything we had to take a photo, he pressed the button.

After that was dried, I cut out some ears and little circles for under the paws, out of felt. I put the tacky glue where needed and had him put it all in place. The little circles were hard, so I helped for those.

You can put a pen or a paper in his mouth!

We waited for it to dry and we took a nice photo. Again he pressed the button and I held the camera.

He’s very proud of it. Then we hid it back again so papa can’t find it.

If you do this craft, Valerie would LOVE to see a photo of it. Email it to Valerie or post it on her Facebook page. She’d love to do a Facebook album, a Pinterest board and a page of your creations :-)


Valerie is a stay-at-home mom of one extremely energetic 2.5 year-old boy that just never stops. Calling “La Belle Province” (aka Quebec) her home, she is blogging together with her husband at Glittering Muffins (http://glitteringmuffins.com) to share her adventures in crafts, food and glitter. Nico’s big passions are cooking/baking and glitter, while Valerie shares his love for cooking and baking and she has been crafting all kinds of things ever since her childhood. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.