Spring is my favorite time of year. The leaves on the trees are green, the sky is blue, and on many days, the sun shines brightly.
Even my three year old has noticed the change in weather and the appearance of daffodils in front of our house. While Gracie knows the basics about plants (they need sun and water), I thought this year would be a great time to teach her a little more.
The problem? I have a brown thumb. A seriously brown thumb. I mean, I kill almost everything I try to grow. If I’m going to teach my preschooler about plants, I need the process to be easy. That’s why I love container gardening.
I assessed what I had on hand to begin my little project. I didn’t have much, but I did find a few large planters behind our shed. I looked around for our trowel, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I needed to buy almost everything.
I took Gracie to Walmart to pick out some plants and other necessities. After roaming the plant aisles, talking about the different colors and kinds of plants, we settled on a few that looked easy to grow. We picked out some strawberries (because who doesn’t love strawberries?), Marigolds, and Chrysanthemums. I loved that the tag on the marigolds said, “easy to grow.”
I also loved that all the flowers were inexpensive – $2.58 for a six pack of Marigolds, $2.48 for a small Chrysanthemum, and $4.98 for a six pack of strawberries.
Gracie and I also picked up a kneeling pad (hey, I’m getting old), garden gloves for both of us, and a three piece dig set that included my much needed garden trowel (it was only $3!). Finally, we bought a big bag of Miracle-Gro soil to add to the soil that was already in my pots. All in all I spent a little less than $30.
When we returned home, we donned our gardening gloves and mixed the new soil with the old soil in our pots. We dug out holes for the flowers. As we gently took the marigolds out of the plastic containers, I pointed out the roots and told Gracie that the roots absorb the water and nutrition from the soil.
We patted down the loose dirt around the flowers and watered them. Gracie and I talked about how plants need water and sunlight to grow and that rain is the way God waters the plants. As we planted the strawberries we looked at the blossoms. Gracie is excited to know that soon strawberries will appear in place of the flowers. We talked about how much of our food comes from plants.
Even though Gracie is only three years old, she understands so much. And even though I’m not a great gardener, the effort I put in to gardening with my kids is well worth the life lessons they learn from gardening. And $30? That’s a small price to pay for digging in the dirt with my girl!