There are many many other plants that can be planted in containers, and there is also companion planting or mixed plantings. They sky is just about the limit. Use your imagination. Kids are a here and now kind of creature, so plant a variety. Let them help mix up the soil, get muddy, water, weed and harvest. Take them with you to pick out seeds or plants, and let them choose a few of their own, even if it doesn't match the house and surroundings. You can show them the backs and symbols of what grows best where and what will grow in your area. Have some fun, get out, and get dirty!
One disadvantage to container pots is they require more water. Those pots heat up on decks and cement and that promotes evaporation. House mounted planters drain quickly (that darned gravity thing) and the heat of a house in the sun can dry things out quickly. Plants under these conditions need frequent waterings both to water the plant and keep them cooled and hydrated.
Test the amount of soil water with your fingers, you always want some moisture. The surface of any plant will rapidly dry out, but not just underneath. Kids and dirt go very well together. Let older kids test it a little, carefully as not to disturb the roots. If it is dry, water it. Mulch/bark can help prevent some water loss. Don't be afraid to put your hands right in, just don't play with the roots!
There are many different ways to take care of watering.
There are endless possibilities for decorating your creation. For some, the flowers/plants themselves are the ornament, especially brightly colored flowers. Others prefer more flair. You can decorate with treasures found on a walk or a vacation, small metal or clay sculptures available at most gardening centers or older children can create their own.
Pots can be painted or decorated. Broken ceramics, twigs, found treasures can be glued/tiled onto the pot depending on how involved the creator wants to get. The web has a many ideas on decoration to suit any taste, from subdued to wild to modern.
Prefer a little height? Bamboo stakes make wonderful "sculpture" holders for crafty folks and kids. Created from toothpicks, yarn, broken pot pieces, mementos, the possibilities are limited only by the imagination. Have some fun, be creative. Doing a craft with your child, no matter how simple or involved, no matter how quick or time-consuming, this project is a boredom-buster that lasts the summer and beyond!
Cindy Enghusen is the mother of 2 boys. Cindy has worked in many fields (literally), is quite a handy person around the house and yard. Her first love is animal husbandry and farming, but it doesn't hold a candle to being a Mom. She has 3 AAS degrees in Agriculture (technical degrees) and when her child(ren) go to school, she hopes to return to work in agriculture, and maybe, some day, try her hand at writing.
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