If planting a large garden intimidates you, consider planting a container garden this spring. Whether you live in a studio apartment or a suburban development, container gardening is the perfect low-stress way to grow your own fruits, vegetables or herbs. You don’t need much space, just a few containers, good soil and a willingness to tend to your garden on a regular basis.
Container gardening is also a great family project that encourages everyone to get outside and dig in the dirt and also plan meals together based on your “harvest,” even if it’s a few fresh herbs. You’ll teach your kids, no matter what age, about growing their own food and perhaps bring the farm to table movement to your own house! Some plants that do especially well in containers include many favorite herbs for cooking, such as basil or dill, or summer produce top picks such as peppers, tomatoes or strawberries.
The containers themselves used in container gardening can also get everyone’s creativity flowing. Try upcycling household items to use as containers, such as brightly colored buckets, large painted cans or even brightly colored rubber rain boots. Do your kids love to paint? Buy clay pots at your local thrift store or a neighborhood yard sale, paint them with brightly colored paint in fun designs and have your kids make small labels for each plant by painting wooden rulers or even small rocks. Turning your containers into a fun visual mini art gallery can be just as much fun as planting the garden itself!
Whether you decide to plant fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers or an eclectic mix of all types of plants, here are a few fun ideas to inspire you.
1. Pick a color…and plant a garden around it! This is an especially fun idea for little ones. Pick a color, red for example, and help your kids plan out a matching container garden featuring red produce, such as red peppers, cherry tomatoes and strawberries. Get everyone involved and have each family member choose a color for gardening inspiration.
2. Plant a pizza garden. Everyone loves pizza night. Plant a container garden featuring basil, oregano, lettuce, tomatoes…everything you may need for a homemade pizza that will taste so much better than any pizza you can have delivered.
3. Bring on the butterflies. If you’re more into flowers, plant a container garden that attracts butterflies. As an added bonus, many of these flowers also attract hummingbirds. Research the varieties that do well in smaller spaces and document the different types of butterflies your garden attracts.
If you don’t know where to start, visit your local gardening center or research container gardening ideas online like this article on 122 Container Gardening Ideas. Pinterest is also a great resource for family-friendly container gardening inspiration.
Do you have any creative ideas for gardening in a small space?