We are thrilled to present the first of our two-part guest series on spring gardening for toddlers from the fabulous Renee at About The Garden.
Car tyres make wonderful flower gardens for little feet and best of all you can paint them up before hand for an added colour treat! I choose to use car tyres around my cubby house slide, as I wanted to create a ‘soft fall’ option for the children. Remember, as a rule bigger is better when it comes to tyres, as the bigger the tyre the less frequently you need to water, so 4x4 or truck tyres are ideal.
To get started with your colourful flower garden, place your tyre in the desired location, then fill the bottom approximately 1-2cm high with sand or fine gravel (this will just assist with water drainage). Then fill to the top with Searles Premium Potting Mix. Remember to push the potting mix into the inside rim of the tyre.
Now it’s time to plant!
For instant colour and because toddlers can be impatient, opt for seedlings over seeds. Your local garden expert will have flowers that you can plant NOW and also chat to them regarding flowers to avoid if you have a little one that sticks stuff in their mouth. Edible spring flowers include chrysanthemum, nasturtiums and dianthus. We do recommend however that you do not plant herbs or vegetables in car tyres.
To plant your flowers, read the growing instructions on the plant tag. I normally plant 4 to 5 flowers into a 4x4 tyre garden. We mix the flower colours and growing heights up to make it more interesting. Once the flowers are planted, don’t forget to mulch and water!
- Get them to help painting the tyres, handprints is always fun! Depending on the type of paint you use, it’s handy to put latex gloves on little hands to make clean up easier.
- They can fill the bottom with sand or pebbles, maybe use different colours to make it more interesting.
- Give them a bucket and spade so they can shovel in the potting mix (wearing gloves is highly recommended).
- Have a day out letting them pick their own flowers from the garden centre. This is so much fun, but pick a day where everyone is happy to limit toddler meltdowns.
- Get them to dig the holes for the flowers.
- Ask them to hold the flowers whilst you pull them out of the punnet.
- Let them have their own little watering can to water the flowers.
Using car tyres is such a wonderful way to add colour wheels to your garden and your tiptoe toddlers will love it!
ABOUT ME: Hi, I’m Renee and I’m a self confessed fun maker. Whilst I’m not the world’s best gardener (I’ve killed cactus), I believe that getting my kids gardening is one of the most important experiences I can give them as a parent. It’s my way to teach them about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. I love that they are willing to taste our garden produce and that we incorporate many of our garden ‘treasures’ into our craft activities.
So don’t let past gardening failures burden you, we’ve all killed plants and that’s OK. Just get out there and garden with your kids, because….. well….. it’s fun