Colorful painted flowerpots bring pizzazz to your garden! (Not to be confused with pizza!) The best thing is you probably have what you need already around your home, an ugly boring terra cotta pot screaming for a bit of attention. Do you hear it? “Hey! Please give me some attention! I want color in my life! Being terra cotta gives me the blahs!”
Even if you think you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, be ready to be surprised. For some reason, when you start painting terra cotta pots the creativity just starts to bloom! This is the perfect time to start getting your pots ready for Spring!
Here’s what’s needed:
You can paint with your fingers, or brushes. Remember that the color you’re painting with might look a bit different once you paint it on the pot because the terra cotta color is so dark. They also absorb some of the paint, so you might have to give your pot two or three coats to get the right look. Be sure to wait for each coat of paint to completely dry before adding the next.
If the pot is going to be placed outside, add a clear finish coat or varnish to extend the paint’s life span.
Painting clay pots is also a lot of fun to do with friends. It doesn’t take a long time to do, making it perfect for garden themed birthday parties. Each of your friends at the end of the party can take home a hand painted flowerpot instead of the usual throwaway birthday baggie!
Once the pots are painted, varnished, and dried you can plant in them. Be sure to add small rocks or gravel on the bottom for drainage and then use a nice soil mixture to help encourage healthy growing. Don’t forget to water your seeds or new plant!
Adult Helper Note: While painting, invite the young artist to start thinking about what they want to plant in their pots. Should they plant herbs or flowers or flowering herbs? What color plant do they want to grow in their pot? You can even take them shopping at a local nursery to see what plant looks best in their pot.
Plants need the right sized pots like we need the right sized shoes!
However, head to the garden center store and chances are new gardeners, especially your kids, will have no idea what size pot to buy for a new plant. After trying to figure out how to explain it my kids, I decided it’s a lot like buying a new pair of shoes – so I helped them pick out a pot that was just a bit larger than the plant already so the roots would have “room to grow!” – just like we do when we buy a new pair of shoes!
If the pot is too big, just like if you buy shoes that are way too big, the plant could slide around too much. Just like your feet flopping out of shoes that are way too big for you.
If the pot is too small, the roots will stick out of the bottom and they won’t be happy. Just like if you bought a shoe that was way too small for your growing feet.
So when you go pot shopping pretend the roots are like your toes and try to find just the right size!
With Spring just around the corner, you should seriously be thinking about what you want to grow this year. Topping our family’s list is to plant a salad bowl. Well, kind of. We’re going to plant a couple different types of lettuce that I can make a salad out of and will be placing the leaves in a bowl so it counts!
Remind the kids that sun, water, soil and seeds are all you need to enjoy fresh salad greens at every meal. Planting your own salad is perfect for a container garden too. Use a bowl shaped container, like a colander or old toy bucket, as your container. Start by making sure the bottom of the container has holes for water to drain out. Next, add in a small layer of pebbles or small rocks to help with the drainage. Then fill the container with potting soil. You can either use tiny lettuce seeds or vegetable seedlings that have already started growing.
Be sure to place your container where it gets a lot of sunlight. Green lettuce can grow inside your home as long as you put it near a south-facing sunny window.
If you’re planting lettuce in the garden, sprinkle a new line of seeds every couple week and you’ll have lettuce for your homegrown salad all season.
SHARE THE LEAVES: Once you’ve harvested your lettuce invite your friends over for a “salad bar” play date. Ask everyone to bring one or two of their favorite salad toppings to share and you provide the leafy greens.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Paper Valentine’s are sure to make their way home today from your friends. But did you know your garden has natural Valentine’s Day hearts waiting for you to find?
Each year the kids and I have always gone a “Find A Heart” family adventure in the garden!
Grab the kids and head out to your garden, your yard, or on a walk through the neighborhood and look for hidden hearts. Look for leaves and anything else hiding in nature that is shaped like a heart.
Here are a few things we found on our yearly Valentine’s Day walk.
If you’re in a really great mood, you could even leave a heart made out of sticks or flowers for a neighbor, friend or even stranger to find.
Wednesday is Valentine’s Day which means a lot of us will be exchanging Valentine’s Day cards and messages. We came up with a fun way to show our friends that we love them using bark we found on the ground!
We decided to carve a heart into a piece of fresh bark and give this as our Valentine’s Day greeting. It’s kind of like carving a name or heart into a tree, without really messing up the tree. (I think carving your name into a tree is like spraying a wall with spray paint. You shouldn’t do it!)
We used the end of a screwdriver to carve a small heart into a small piece of bark.
The trick is, the bark needs to have fallen of the tree recently so you can actually mark into easily. I couldn’t carve anything into older, dried up pieces.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.