Indoor Gardening with Your Kids

Don't have a outdoor space to garden? Bring it indoors!Don't let a tiny (or non-existent) backyard keep you and the kids from putting together a family garden this year. You can manage to grow your own spices, flowers, and even a fruit, veggie or two without a lot of outdoor space. Even if you do have room for an outdoor garden, an indoor garden is the perfect choice for a first family garden for families with small children.

Start small.

You might not want to plant dozens of things for the first time you garden indoors. Take inventory of the amount of space you have, the time you're able to commit to your gardening project, and what your garden goals are. Then be realistic in your initial purchases. Try a raised bed garden in front of a bright window, paired with several individual planters and pots. Consider hanging planters as well. Whatever you do, don't over-plant; things won't grow well without enough room. You can always add to your garden over time.

Give the kids some ownership over the project.

Letting your kids participate in the purchasing, planting, and watering will give them a sense of ownership over your indoor garden project. Take them with you to the store and let them help select the items you'll grow in your garden. Are they convinced that they want to try watermelon inside, even though you know it's a long (like, football field long) shot for an indoor garden? Let them give it a go anyway.

Don't make it a chore.

Your indoor gardening project should be fun, and with any luck, you'll be able to reap the benefits (be it beautiful flowers, herbs for cooking, or tomatoes or cucumbers for your salad. But don't make it a chore for the kids or they won't enjoy their first gardening experience. Include them in the watering, replanting and re-potting (when necessary) and talk about making sure that things get the right amount of sunlight to grow. This leads me into the next step--the importance of selecting something that will be successful and that the kids can enjoy!

Select something fool-proof.

It's important for your children to have some success with your first indoor family garden. For that reason, select several hearty herbs (try oregano and basil ) and flowers ( marigolds are a good choice) that should make it even with some irregular watering or the not-so-delicate touch of your toddler. Your kids will love indoor gardening if they learn from the things that don't grow and still get to enjoy a few things that do!

Content by Kelly Herdrich.