Brilliant Ideas for Gardening with Tots
Three planting activities from Edible Gardens LA
In search of the ultimate “unplugged” summer experience, we asked Edible Gardens LA owner Lauri Kranz for some tips on backyard gardening with tots.
Build an edible teepee. Use bamboo rods to build the frame, then grow great, big vines up the sides. Kranz likes to plant climbing beans in spring and summer; pea vines in fall and winter. “A child can play inside the teepee, pick and eat fresh veggies off of the vines, and interact with butterflies and ladybugs in this natural haven.”
Grow strawberries. “Have your child help fill a strawberry pot with soil,” suggests Kranz. “I like having kids use their hands.” Next, help your little one remove the strawberry seedling from the container by gently tipping the container to the side and helping the strawberry seedling to fall out. “Pulling seedlings out from the top causes the plant to separate from the roots.”
Start a spring harvest. “Springtime is a wonderful time to plant pumpkin and sunflower seedlings with your child,” says Kranz. “Show your child how to fill a small seed starting container three-quarters of the way full with soil, then have them place the seed on top of the soil. Finish by covering the seed with more soil, all the way to the top of the container, and giving it a gentle sprinkling of water. Leave the seedling in a sunny spot and water daily.”
Shopping tip: “I love Sunset Nursery in Silverlake,” says Kranz. “They have everything required for the garden projects mentioned here, plus so much more. They are also very kid friendly. Or, take a little drive to the wonderful Bountiful Gardens in Lake View Terrace. The fruit trees alone will make you swoon, and they are very happy to have your little ones explore their gardens.”