Our Somewhat Sad Attempt at Gardening with Kids

Gardening. Just another thing I suck at.

I love colorful flowers the smell of trees, and the way greenery can liven up a room. The only problem is, I’ve never had a green thumb, and I can’t ever seem to keep plants alive. Too little water, too much water, not enough sun. I can’t get it right. Gardening is just not my forte. 
  Gardening with kids: Tips for up-cycling and gardening with your kids. Perfect to try for Earth Day!

I’ve been wanting to brighten up our flower beds since moving into our home two years ago. Normally I just put one of those $6 hanging plants outside and call it a day, but I decided to get adventurous this year and make it a special occasion and learning experience and try gardening with my kids.

Both kids helped pick out some perennials and I made sure to pick some with a year-long guarantee because… Yea.

Lil’ J also picked out some pink annual flowers she was drawn to. I thought we’d plant them in our hanging flower basket but we can’t find the basket that we put away last fall. Instead of buying another one we decided to up-cycle and make our own flower pot.

Gardening with kids: Tips for up-cycling and gardening with your kids. Perfect to try for Earth Day!

I used an old Tampico jug to cut through, then Lil’ J painted it a beautiful rainbow design. When it was dry she added soil and the flowers on her own. You can see more of her little project on the Tampico is Color blog.

Gardening with kids

We dug up the yard and planted the three smaller plants and one of the big ones. The is still sitting in the pot because digging is SO much harder than I expected. How people choose to hide and burry dead bodies I have no idea, but I’m sure they begin to regret it after an hour of only digging up top soil.

Gardening with kids: Tips for up-cycling and gardening with your kids. Perfect to try for Earth Day!

Anyway, we still managed to turn it into a good lesson about recycling, how plants work, and taking care of our planet. Gardening with kids was probably more fun than gardening by myself. I think we may even recycle more of our jugs and make a garden of them this month to celebrate Earth Day. Not to mention making your own flower pot is much easier than digging.

Have you successfully planted a garden? Have any tips for us?

*Shoutout to Tampico for sponsoring today’s story. All opinions and typos are my own.

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  1. I had a good chuckle at this post. I too suck at gardening. I always go into it thinking… here comes a great family adventure…. and then reality hits!

  2. We have a veggie and fruit garden. I have yet to try my hand at growing flowers. My mom has an amazing green thumb when it comes to growing flowers and house plants tho. To make sure her plants are getting enough water, she uses one of those plant bulbs that you feel with water and stick in the dirt. And when it’s going to be hot, she usually sets her plants out during the morning and then move them back in the shade in the afternoon.

  3. Jennifer, congrats on starting your garden! As a kid my earliest memory was picking potato bugs for my parents on their garden. It didn’t pay very well, but back then a can of Coke was ten cents and a Spiderman comic was a quarter.

    Can I encourage you to experiment with different types of containers? We’ve grown tomatoes in milk crates, the blue recycling bins and even in old tires. Herbs can grow just about anywhere, and kitchen scraps like bits of garlic and onions will grow with very little attention.

    I love the paintjob! Gardening and crafting go so well hand in hand. It’s part art, part passion and a whole lot of patience, isn’t it?

    Your blog is wonderful, thanks for sharing your gardening adventures with us. I look forward to hearing what you discovered at the end of the summer.

    All the best,


  4. My kids love gardening with me as well. In fact, this is what drove me initially to get into gardening. Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. I love gardening with my grandchildren. Upcycling a jug as a flower pot, and having the kids paint it is a great idea. I’m pinning this idea to my Kid’s Gardening Board. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh my, how I so much love gardening. But this post is a wake up call! I have never even at once thought about involving the kids in the process. I certainly love the idea of helping the children learn about recycling and how plants works generally. Thanks for this article as its inspiration and say Hi to Lil’ J for me..


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