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5 Outdoor Craft Ideas for Kids


5
Container Gardens
Decorating your container garden can be just as rewarding as growing the plants. ©iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Decorating your container garden can be just as rewarding as growing the plants. ŠiStockphoto/Thinkstock

If you want to garden but have limited space, container gardens are a nice solution. A container garden can go anywhere that has ample light, including patios, balconies, rooftops, windowsills, or even indoors. They can rest on the ground or hang overhead. You can include flowers, herbs, fruits, vegetables, vines, grasses, trees, shrubs or a variety of other plants -- anything that's in season.

You need a container with ample room for potting soil, the plants and their growing roots, along with proper drainage holes so that the roots don't drown. Store-bought planters tend to have holes already, but you can also get creative and convert unused items into planters by drilling holes to create drainage. You can use baskets, birdcages, tote bags, old shoes, muffin tins, sea shells, teapots, toys, drinking glasses, birdbaths, stacked tires or that little red wagon that's been sitting in your garage for years -- virtually anything that can handle the soil and frequent watering. If an item is too porous, you might be able to line it with plastic or place smaller planters inside. You can also create water gardens instead of soil gardens (in which case you wouldn't need holes). Picking and decorating containers can be a mini-craft project in and of itself.

The garden can be as tiny or large as you want, and you can use one container or a cluster of smaller ones. A popular choice is to combine three plants of differing heights and colors. When combining plants, you just need to make sure that their water, soil, fertilizer, temperature, root depth and light needs are similar. You and the kids can have fun researching and picking out suitable seeds or plants. Already grown plants from the nursery will provide the most instant gratification, but planting seeds and watching them sprout can be fun, too.

Plants in containers need a different growing medium than in-ground plants because they require more drainage and aeration. These special soils are generally made out of more porous materials and sometimes don't even contain actual soil. You can buy them in bags or mix your own if you research ingredients. Keep in mind that the soil will dry out fast, so you may have to water frequently -- perhaps even twice a day -- depending upon the size of the container, the plants' watering needs and the climate.