If you are looking for a fun way to get the kids excited for the outdoors this year and save some money on your grocery bill while also teaching the kids some valuable lessons about being more self sufficient, then you should definitely consider starting a vegetable container garden with the kids.
We decided it was time to get my kids off the screens and outside this spring by starting our own seeds for a vegetable container garden.
If you are a beginner or want something that is easy for you and the kids to get started, than a vegetable container garden might be the best way to go. Here are the basic steps to help you get your seeds growing and off to a good start.
Vegetable Container Gardens Are Easy for Beginners
If you have never gardened before, or it’s been so long since you helped in a garden, you are overwhelmed by the thought of starting a brand new garden, then a vegetable container garden might be the perfect choice for you.
It’s been several years since I started a container garden and generally our spring travel has us too busy, but this year we decided it was time to give it a go again.
Consider the following benefits of container vegetable gardening as a beginner.
- Less weeding
- Easier to protect your vegetable plants from animals like deer and rabbits
- Even young kids can easily help plant, care for, and harvest the vegetables
- You don’t need a large space to grow several varieties of vegetables
- Costs are low as you only need to invest in a few containers and 10 or 12 packs of seeds
Starting anything new can be frightening, but growing vegetables in pots really is an easy place to start your vegetable growing journey and is a great way to get the kids involved, outside, and learning how to grow their own food.
Vegetable Container Gardens Are Less Work With More Yield
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac growing vegetables in containers requires less effort than a lawn garden and can actually yield more produce.
“Want to have more control over growing conditions and enjoy higher yields with a lot less work? Garden in containers.”Old Farmer’s Almanac
Did somebody say, “Work smarter not harder!” Sign me up.
What Steps Do I Take To Start My Vegetable Container Garden?
You can begin two ways with vegetable container gardening. Seeds or Seedlings.
We chose to begin our journey back into gardening this year, by starting with the seeds.
The kids will get a great deal of enjoyment out of beginning with just seeds and soil and watching their work produce something that eventually ends up on their tables.
Basic Steps From Seed To Harvest
Purchase your seeds.
The first thing you need to decide is what vegetables you want to grow. You might be surprised that you aren’t as limited as you think.
In fact some people grow potatoes and corn in containers, but there are definitely some vegetables that are easier to grow in containers than others.
The top 10 veggies to consider for your containers as a beginner are:
- Green Beans
- Sweet Peppers
- Chili Peppers
Purchase Starter Seed Trays or Pots.
After you decide which vegetable seeds to purchase, you will want to get your starter trays. We chose to purchase biodegradable seed starter pots.
Most of the time when I have failed at getting my plants to survive whether they be vegetables or flowers, it has been in the transfer phase from seedlings to their larger home.
The root shock can be more than your baby veggies can take.
I’m excited about these biodegradable seed starter pots, because once the seedlings are ready to be moved to a larger pot, all you have to do is plant the seedling pot and all in their new container.
This means you are less likely to damage the roots and thereby kill your baby veggies.
Purchase Your Potting Soil.
You will need to purchase your beginning potting soil. You can either purchase just enough for your starter seeds or you may want to check your local hardware store or garden center for the price of larger quantities for when you transplant your seeds in a few weeks. Entirely up to you.
Plant Your Seeds.
Perhaps this is the part you are most afraid of…but don’t be. I know whenever we start something new, it feels too overwhelming, but you just have to start.
Read the seed packet, get the kids involved, and just do it.
Most of your seeds will just take 1/4″ deep hole in your soil and a gentle covering over.
Be sure that your soil is moist.
Move Your Newly Planted Seeds.
You should be starting your seeds 6-8 weeks before the final cold snaps occur (around here that’s about May 10th).
This means they will have to be indoors until then while they grow. We chose to place ours underneath a basement window that gets a lot of sun. We open the window during the day for ventilation.
Keep The Soil Moist.
Be sure to properly moisten your soil when planting and daily while your seeds germinate.
Transfer Your Seedlings.
Most of your veggies will be ready to be moved to their bigger containers in 6-8 weeks.
Be sure to purchase a high quality soil, the right size containers for the needs of each plant, and properly feed and water your new veggies.
Water and Feed Your Veggies.
Continue to water and feed your vegetables according to their specific needs.
Enjoy Your Harvest.
Pretty soon, you will begin to enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh vegetables for you family right from your own patio or deck.
More Vegetable Container Gardening Tips
You Might Also Be Interested In our Other Outdoor Living Posts