Gardening With Kids: Easy Beginner Garden Beds

How to grow a simple garden with very little space or effort.

In my last column I wrote about starting seeds in eggs because I love to grow vegetables and herbs.  However, not everyone has the green space for a big garden.  That doesn’t have to stop you from growing vegetables that you love.  Today we learn to garden with little maintenance that is perfect for tight spaces.  Let’s garden in a soil bag!

This is also a great project to do with children.  The size garden is totally manageable and kids can help with watering and picking the vegetables.  It may be a great way to encourage them to eat more veggies if they help with the growing process. By using the potting soil bag as your garden, plants need little weeding and grow quickly.  

In the main photo is lettuce I planted.  After a couple of weeks, the mesclun greens are almost ready to eat.  They literally sprouted the second day in the bag.  I was shocked.  The bag creates a friendly environment for plants to thrive.

The ingredients are simple.  I stopped by my local garden store and purchased three bags of potting soil and the seeds I wanted to plant.  The choice between organic and regular soil is up to you.  This soil happened to be on sale so I chose it.  If you want to start with plants, you will be ahead of the game and vegetables are just around the corner for you.  You also need a screw driver and a pair of scissors.

You may place the bags directly on the ground if you want.  I have turkeys, deer, and hundreds of squirrels in my yard and I'm not willing to share – so my yard is out of the question for my "garden."  Instead, I put the bags on the back deck and raised them on an old screen so the wood wouldn't be damaged or discolored.  How and where you place the bags is entirely up to you.  Make sure you have ample sunlight and decent drainage underneath.

Use the screwdriver to punch holes in the bag.  I made three rows of five holes.  The bags have small perforated holes in them already so don't go crazy making holes.

Next, cut the top of the bag.  Cut in a square shape but leave enough of the plastic bag on the sides so that the dirt will not fall out.  

Now you are ready to plant.  Plant seeds or plants as you normally would in the soil.  I planted one bag with zucchini seeds, one with cucumber seeds, and the last bag with mixed greens seeds.  What you plant is up to you.  Lettuces grow very quickly this way.  

Once you have planted the bags, water them very well.  I saturated the soil the first day and continue to water very well for the next couple of days.  Before you know it, fresh-from-the-garden vegetables will be ready to eat.