How To Plant THEME GARDENS in Pots
Theme gardens are lots of fun to grow. The theme name can conjure up visions of the meal they are named for, such as, The Pizza Garden and the Spaghetti Garden. Theme gardens are a very good way to spark kids' interest in food and open the door for opportunities to learn about good nutrition. Kids love to be involved in activities. Gardening and early experiences in the kitchen preparing simple meals with the vegetables that have been grown are great ways to teach skills that will follow into adulthood.
Some fun vegetable theme gardens are: The Rainbow Garden – The Pizza Garden – The Salad Garden – The Stir-Fry Garden – The Dip 'n' Dunk Garden – The Salsa Garden – The Spaghetti Garden – The Soup Pot Garden. Directions for planting these eight great gardens in pots are listed below:
The Rainbow Garden is a really fun garden to plant. It is bursting with the colors of the rainbow. This garden consists of six curved rows of pots. The top row contains green bell pepper plants. Next, set a row of miniature red tomato plants. Next, set a row of orange marigold flowers. Next, set a row of purple eggplants. Next, set a row of yellow squash. Finally, set a row of sky blue petunia flowers. The marigolds and petunias keep garden pest like aphids, beetles, worms, and whiteflies away from the vegetables as well as add a wonderful scent to the garden.
The Pizza Garden is planted in a wagon wheel fashion. As a matter of fact, if available, an old wagon wheel makes a terrific planter for this garden. If using pots, set the pots in four touching triangles. Plant tomatoes in one section; green bell peppers in one section; green onions in one section; and plant herbs (basil, oregano, garlic) in one section.
The Salad Garden is a cluster of pots that contain tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and lettuce. A couple of rows of small benches or plant stands can hold top tiers of pots graduating down to ground level.
The Stir-Fry Garden consists of pots of Bok Choy, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, onions, snow peas, yellow squash, and garlic.
The Dip 'n' Dunk Garden consists of pots of vegetables that can be cut into strips and chunks to dip into delicious cheese and bean dips. These pots contain veggies like carrots, radishes, celery, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers.
The Salsa Garden consists of pots set in a circle like a sombrero. Set a cluster of tall plant stands in the middle to hold pots of cilantro and garlic. Next, set a circle of pots containing tomatoes, green chili peppers, and green peppers around the pot stands. Circle these pots with rows of red onions.
The Spaghetti Garden consists of a collection of pots containing tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, onions, garlic, and the herbs – parsley, basil, and oregano. Wheat, usually planted during September, could be grown earlier and set among the pots of vegetables to be harvested from May through August. Of course, most people don't mill their own wheat flour, nor make their own noodles, so, this part of the garden could be for dramatization of what spaghetti noodles are made of.
The Soup Pot Garden consists of tomatoes, okra, hot peppers, potatoes, green peas, carrots, onions, corn, garlic, and the herbs – marjoram and savory.
To liven up these gardens with lots of colors, scatter pots of marigolds, nasturtiums, petunias, and zinnias among the pots of vegetables. Besides adding an array of color to the mix, these flowers 'repel' many pesky garden pests such as aphids, beetles, worms, and whiteflies. Herbs like dill, parsley, and coriander 'attract' beneficial insects such as lady bugs, praying mantis, and specific flies and wasps, so, plant them along side vegetables too.
Kids can spend hours entertaining themselves while gardening. Most kids like to be involved in the art of creating, and - they like to watch things grow, and – they love to play in 'dirt'. The pay off for their efforts might be a new appreciation for the fresh taste of vegetables. Don't be too surprised if the first appearances of veggies on the vine seem to mysteriously disappear!