5 Easy Flowers Kids Can Grow

5 Easy Flowers Kids Can Grow

One of my greatest pleasures as a parent is being able to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers alongside my toddler. While there are many aspects to gardening with a two-year-old that could lead you to want to pull your hair out (i.e. dirt eating, dirt throwing, dirt bathing, basically just dirt! oh, and plant pulling/kicking) there are many aspects that are worth the extra work of bringing your tiny shadow along for the journey. After two years of growing plants with me, he now recognizes many of them, has a growing appreciation and gentleness towards them, and eats many more fresh vegetables than before we started started growing! 

One of Tad's favorite things to grow? Flowers! He learned the art of handing a bloom over to me last year and how much I loved it. I believe his favorite part, however, was being able to watch all of the insects that flowers attract crawling through the petals. We often would sit together and watch bees gathering pollen to take back to the hive. Flowers are extremely easy to grow from seed and are a perfect welcome to spring project for you and your little one to enjoy this year! 

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are most likely the easiest and rewarding flower for a young child to grow! With the help of a pudgy finger and some potting soil, you'll be able to bury these and see results within a few weeks. Start sunflowers indoor about 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost or sow directly into the soil right after your last spring frost date.

Cosmos

If you don't have ideal soil, try growing cosmos! They pop up extremely quickly and will continue to provide fresh blooms for you for months. I promise! The best way to make sure you get as many blooms as possible is to cut and come again - plus don't forget to pinch off dead heads. Either start 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost or plant outdoors in the week after.

Marigolds and Calendula

While you may find online that marigolds and calendula are the same plant, this is simply not true. Marigolds are a great natural insect and wildlife pest repellent in the garden. Have a rabbit or deer problem? Try planting these around your garden's perimeter! As for calendula? It's edible and marigolds are not. Calendula is amazing for making healing herbal teas and skin care products. 

Nasturtiums

You may need to wait a bit for these beauties to bloom, but they provide beautiful colored and plump flowers for a majority of the late growing season. My favorite part about growing nasturtiums? You'll get a LOT of seeds at the end of the year... a lot! You can dry these and save them to plant in the years to come. How cool is that?! Start 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost and be sure to soak the seeds overnight in water. This will help kickstart germination.

Zinnias

An Instagrammable favorite, zinnias are a beautiful, colorful, and continually blooming flower that your little one will love being able to cut over and over until fall. These are my personal favorite flower, and I love that I can have a fresh vase of beautiful flowers every single week. Start indoors 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost and sow up 3 times in spring for continual blooms.

 Which is your favorite flower to grow with little ones?

xoxo Kayla

February 07, 2018 — Kay Haupt
Tags: gardening
DIY Clay Plant Fossils - Kay Haupt

DIY Clay Plant Fossils - Kay Haupt

Hello!
How is your summer going? We've been starting to welcome in the hot dog days of summer around here, the kind where you can only stand being outside for ten minutes before crawling back into the air conditioning. As much as I'd love to spend every single summer day by the pool, that's just not always achievable, especially with a rascally two-year-old. Instead, we've been finding ways to entertain ourselves with the resources we have around us, making nature crafts and reading books. I came across a really great idea the other day to make some nature fossils with clay!
This craft ended up being my favorite yet, even more fun than DIY play dough, which was pretty fun! At first, I thought that we would make salt dough because I really didn't want to run out to the craft store and purchase air dry clay. That got me thinking - can I make some sort of clay at home that's not like salt dough? Salt dough can be kind of a pain to work with! It's just not soft and malleable like clay. I ended up finding a really great recipe that I think you will enjoy.
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cups water
Over the stove, mix the three ingredients together and heat over medium. Stirring constantly to break up clumps, let the mixture form into a light soup-like mixture. As you stir, it should start to form up into a thicker mixture, after about 5-8 minutes. When it starts to look like a thick frosting and can no longer be stirred, it's done! Don't overcook this one, and feel free to lower your heat if needed. You may want to use a plastic spatula or wooden spoon to stir as well.
Take it off the stove and let it come to room temperature, about 45 minutes. It may seem hard and crumbly, but don't worry! Once it is cool enough to handle in your hands, start to knead it like bread dough. It should form into a nice, smooth clay-like material after a minute or two. How awesome is that?!
Roll it out like cookie dough until about 1/4 inch thick. Now you can do with it what you will! We went out into the garden and collected some leaves and flowers and herbs to make impressions in the dough. It seemed to work best with evergreen type leaves and ones with thick veins. You could also make fun shapes with cookie cutters! When you're done making shapes, you can either let them air dry or bake them at 250 for about 2 hours or until hardened. 
This craft is incredibly easy to throw together and is so fun! Tad loved being able to make patterns with the leaves and flowers we had collected, so excited to show me how different each one looked! This is a great way to get kids excited about learning the different patterns of plants. We may even paint them later! Enjoy.
xoxo Kayla
You can find more gardening tips and recipes on my blog at underatinroof.com
July 27, 2017 — Makel Gardner
Gardening - fast growing veggies

Gardening - fast growing veggies

Hello, friends! 

 

When we found out that Fin & Vince’s Spring/Summer collection was called Grandma’s Secret Garden, it was almost too good to be true. As first time gardeners, we are learning and discovering new things every single day. If you happen to know me or follow along with me online, then you know that I have been working since this past January to make our small scale sustainable homesteading dream come true. We planted our entire garden from seed and have seen some amazing results! Our family believes that anyone can grow their own food and benefit from the amazing rewards in budget, body, and soul.

 

One of the more amazing results from growing our own food? Watching my son actually eat it! Yes! I have a very picky eater, or more, a stubborn eater. He has to make the decision himself to eat his food. Even though he likes most things, if he hasn’t decided he’s ready to eat, then it’s just a huge battle to get him to actually put food in his mouth. While we’ve tried every trick in the book to get him to eat something, anything, I have never seen anything quite like watching him experiment with new foods and flavors in the garden. Why is it that children won’t eat a home cooked meal, yet they will shovel in handfuls of dirt and grass? 

 

Part of me wonders if its some primal instinct that we’ve long forgotten. Is it something about getting those microbes from the dirt in their systems to prepare their immune system, or maybe they’re just babies who don’t know any better? Whatever it may be, my son will gobble up lettuce if he gets to pick it. Yes! It’s really fascinating. And I want to share with you some fast-growing vegetables that you can grow yourself for you and your family. These veggies are super easy, fool-proof gardening staples that you can start growing right now, no matter where you live. Each of these plants sustains well in pots or vertical gardens and produces in less than 60 days to harvest. Let’s go!

 

Greens

 

These include lettuce, kale, and spinach. These leafy plants are so easy to grow! Most lettuces take less than a month to produce, and spinach can be even faster. Though kale is considered a brassica (that’s in relation to cabbage, broccoli, and kohlrabi), we often group it in with the greens. Greens are a great way to get your kiddos to try something new that they can easily pick themselves. If you have older kids, maybe they can help you plant and watch the quick growing process of an amazing plant! While lettuce is awesome and often grows the quickest, it can only be harvested once. Kale and spinach? They can be harvested all season long! Just clip off what you want and keep going until winter comes. 

Tomatoes 

 

I was really surprised to see how quickly our tomatoes took off! They’ve been super easy to grow and take care of, and the leaves smell absolutely amazing! Even more fun? It’s the time of year for green tomatoes. We’re waiting patiently for ours to keep growing, but for now Tad is enjoying eating the little green cherry tomatoes. I still can’t believe he’ll try them! Tomatoes take about 50 to 90 days to produce, depending on the variety you choose and can be enjoyed all season long as well. No need to replace! This is a great vegetable to plant as a beginning gardener.

Squash

 

This is a must try! Right now, we are growing both summer and winter squash, including zucchinis, pumpkins, butternut squash, and cucumbers. They were the easiest plants to start from seed for us! Though it’s a bit late in the season to plant these fast growing crops, you may be able to squeeze them in if you live a mild climate. Be sure to check out your growing zone and how that correlates to the seeds or seedlings you pick up. Growing squash was extremely satisfying because it sprouted in less than a week and continued to grow large and tall, taking over most of the garden! Tad loves walking in amongst the squash and finding all of the baby pumpkins for me. He’ll even try a squash flower or two, which taste amazing! If you are wanting some zucchini to try, they take around 40-50 days until harvest. So fast!

I hope you found some useful insight on which plants can grow quickly in your garden and help supplement your family! There is nothing more rewarding than watching a few measly vegetable seeds turn into a living, producing plant that you can just go pick whenever you like. I highly recommend trying it if you’ve been curious! All it takes is some dirt, water, sunlight, and a little patience to make seeds grow. Your kids will love going through the experience with you! 

 

 

Want more gardening tips? Check out my blog at www.underatinroof.com

 

xoxo Kayla 

June 23, 2017 — Makel Gardner
Tags: DIY gardening