Last week, we painted pots for our rainbow garden. I’ve enlisted help from dirtgirl for the next step in the process: the planting. dirtgirl: Love your work.
Guest post from dirtgirl from dirtgirlworld
Hi Green thumbs!
dirtgirl here, from dirtgirlworld! Today I have stopped by to join my friend, Kelly, and all of you guys for our next green thumb fun: planting a potted rainbow!
Yep, it’s coming into winter soon but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on bright, happy colours. This is a fun activity that is a blast for grown-ups and little kids alike!
Let’s get started!
I have chosen nasturtiums to be our flowering rainbow for today.
Why plant nasturtiums for a potted rainbow?
- Nasturtiums are ‘annuals’: that means we plant them once, and we should be able to enjoy them all year long!
- Nasturtiums come in loads of different colours!
- Nasturtiums are super safe for little kids.
- Nasturtiums can be a little too good at growing in garden beds, and take over. That’s why they are great to keep in pots!
- Nasturtiums are edible! Yep, I looove them in salads! Yummo!
When to plant them:
Nasturtiums can be planted year-round in subtropical areas, or areas that aren’t likely to get frost. In frost prone area, nasturtiums are best planted in Spring. An alternative for colder climates may be Primroses.
What you’ll need!
- 10x nasturtium plants: 5x different colour nasturtium plants, 2 of each (or seeds; nasturtiums have a short germination period so in about a month, you’ll have flowers!)
- 5x pots: You can use mixed-matched pots. I like terracotta pots, because the colours of the flowers stand out best!
- Soil: a light, lean, well-mixed soil with vermiculture (that’s worm castings, aka. worm poo!) rather than compost.
A Grubby Tip! I try to buy my plants from a local nursery. I find the plants are more robust and last longer once planted, than if I buy them from the huge shops. Plus, I get to support my local community!
1. First, take your five pots that will be home to your rainbow.
2. Fill your pots with your soil. Nasturtiums don’t like to be moved a lot, so we get our soil ready first, before we take the plants out of their containers.
Grubby tip! Nasturtiums don’t like wet feet. Hehe! That means they like “well-drained” soil. You can get that by adding some washed river sand or teeny pebbles to your soil. Make sure it is all well-mixed through the soil.
Grubby tip! Keep the holes nice and close together, so that when the flowers bloom, you will get a close-knit blossoming of colour!
3. Pick one colour to be planted first. Let’s start with ‘Red’.
4. When your soil is well mixed and moist, but not too wet, make two small holes or ‘wells’ in each pot. One hole for each plant.
5. Gently place your pointer finger and your thumb n either side of the base of the plant, and carefully turn the plant upside down. Give it a little shake so that the plant comes loose, out of its container. Now gently place the nasturtium plant into one of the two little wells you made in your soil. Gently cover the base of the plant up with soil. Now do the same with your second red nasturtium plant.
6. Repeat this for all the different colour nasturtiums.
7. Give your potted nasturtiums a gentle water, to help them settle in to their pots!
Grubby tip! Remember, nasturtiums like some water, but they don’t like to be soaked too often.
8. Find your potted rainbow a home! Nasturtiums can live in places that are a bit shady (“partial shade”), but they generally love a sunny spot. A sunny spot will help them grow best!
Grubby tip! Nasturtiums can be great to plant near veggies, because they can lure aphids (little pests) away from the veggies. This can mean, however, that the little aphids will start eating your nasturtiums. One sure answer to aphids? Lady birds! Yep they gobble them up, super fast!
Yay! Now we have our potted rainbow- you can visit yours for a splash of colour and happiness all year round! (Or for a spectacular salad ingredient, hehe!)
Enjoy your rainbows!
Thanks dirtgirl! I’ll snap a picture each week to let you know how our rainbow garden is coming along. Our local nursery convinced me to buy nasturtium seeds as they germinate quickly. We followed your instructions for the prep, and then made a 15mm deep hole, placed seeds inside, and covered with dirt. And after a week, we have a sprout! So exciting!
A week later
Another post from dirtgirl: 10 Winter Gardening Tips for Kids