Calgary Gardening with Kids + Best Plants for Calgary’s Garden Zone

Calgary Gardening with Kids - SavvyMom

Warm weather days are finally on the horizon here in Calgary, which means many folks are looking for excuses to spend their time outdoors. For families who don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty, gardening is a great way to get out in the sunshine together. Whether you’re looking for something simple or want to get creative with your Calgary gardening plans, we’ve rounded up some fun ways to get your kids involved in the process. Happy planting!

Calgary Gardening with Kids

A Few Tips Before You Get Started

If you’re fairly new to the world of Calgary gardening, there are a few things to consider before you start loading up your cart with plants at the garden centre.

1. KnowYour Zone

USDA Hardiness Zones provide guidance on which plants are most likely to thrive in a particular region based on the average minimum winter temperatures. Calgary is typically classified as being in Hardiness Zone 4a. What this means is that you need to look for plants that can withstand our average annual minimum temperature which ranges from -34.4 to -31.7 degrees Celsius. Check the label on plants you’re interested in to make sure that they are classified for at least Zone 4. Here are a few plants you might consider:

  • Perennials such as Purple Coneflower, Black-Eyed Susan, Daylilies, Russian Sage, and Hostas
  • Shrubs such as Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Junipers, Potentilla, Ninebark, and Spirea
  • Annuals and Vegetables such as Marigolds, Zinnias, Peas, Lettuce, and Carrots
  • Trees such as Colorado Blue Spruce, Paper Birch, Norway Maple, Eastern Redbud, and Amur Maple

2. Perennial or Annual?

In a nutshell, perennials are plants that will come up every year once they’re in the ground, while annuals only last for the season. Annuals are typically what you’ll find in decorative planters or hanging baskets. They’re also great to stick in your flower beds if you’re looking for something that blooms quickly. You’ll have to wait for your perennials to come up when they’re ready, which can be at different times throughout the growing season, depending on the plant.

Getting Your Kids Involved

It’s no secret that most kids love playing in the dirt, so why not get them to help you make your yard more beautiful in the process? Here are a few fun ways to get your kids excited about developing their green thumb!

Give Them Their Own Garden Plot

Help your kids to get in the garden groove by giving them responsibility over their own little plot. Help them decide which plants to grow and get some seeds or baby plants and find the perfect place to plant them together. Whether you’re using an existing patch of dirt, building a garden box, or getting creative with different potting solutions, your kiddos will love taking care of their own crop of flowers, fruits, and veggies.

Get Creative with Your Plant Markers

Once you’ve put your plants in the ground, you must remember what’s what. Get your kids involved in making fun plant markers using wooden spoons, rocks, or even plastic animals from the dollar store, and a little bit of acrylic paint. For extra precision, pick yourself up some paint pens off of Amazon.

Find a Great Garden Book to Read Together

Looking for some Calgary gardening inspiration? There are so many great children’s gardening books to choose from for readers of all ages. From how-to books to picture books and novels, there are tons of great tales to pick up at your local library or favourite book store.

Make a Fairy Garden

Fairy gardens are a fun way to build a whimsical little scene that can be kept both inside and outdoors. Pots, plates, and terrariums make great portable options, while outdoor options can include tree trunks and stumps, rocky patches, or even your garden itself. Many stores, like Amazon, Michaels, Walmart, and most dollar stores have supplies to bring your fairy garden to life, but making your own furniture and landscaping is tons of fun too. Fair gardens can be made in one sitting or added to over time, and the best thing about them is that the only limit is your imagination!

Make Special Spaces for the Creatures in Your Yard

Birds, bugs, squirrels, and more will love visiting your garden, especially if there’s a spot for them to stop in for a snack! DIY a bird house out of popsicle sticks, try your hand at building a squirrel picnic bench, or look online for a hotel for pollinators and watch your garden come alive!

DIY Garden Decor

There are lots of fun projects to take on to add an extra special touch to your garden. Beaded sun catchers, painted rock tic tac toe, and stepping stones made out of concrete and special gems are just a few crafty creations you can make with your kids to bring some extra colour to your garden.

Do your kids love helping out in the garden? Have you got any great tips to get started? We’d love to hear them in the comments!


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