They may have outgrown their sandbox, but you can still reap the benefits of its perfect size and shape. Here’s what you’ll need: BPA-free sandbox, pavers (optional), gravel, weed barrier fabric (cut to fit interior of sandbox), potting soil, soil supplements (optional), assorted edible starter plants with shallow root systems, utility knife, drill and 5/8-inch bit, garden trowel, garden gloves, kid-sized garden tools
Prep the Location Determine the location of your new garden based on sunlight. Make sure it has enough sun or shade for the plants you intend to grow. Partial shade is usually best for many container-friendly edibles. Move the emptied sandbox into place, then layer a few pavers underneath the box to elevate it and ensure optimum drainage.
Ensure Good Drainage Good drainage keeps plants healthier and staves off root rot. Once you’ve added pavers and adjusted them so the bottom of the sandbox is level, add several drainage holes using a drill and large bit. Make a hole every 6-8 inches in the bottom of the sandbox.
Add Weed Barrier Cut weed barrier fabric to size and lay down in the sandbox so the bottom and sides are covered. This will help create a barrier and discourage any weeds attempting to make their way into the garden through the drainage holes.
Add Gravel Spread a 2-inch layer of gravel along the bottom of the sandbox, directly on top of the weed barrier.
Add High-Quality Soil Premium soil is key to the success of your garden, so make sure it’s suited to your plants and climate. Consider mixing in a supplement or soil additive that’s specifically suited to your plants.
Select your plants
Plant Thoughtfully Get your kids in on the planting process so they’ll be fully invested. Make sure to plant companion plants together. Strawberries like beans, lettuce, onions and thyme, while lettuce, like arugula, prefers beans and mint. Try to follow along with spacing as dictated on the plants’ tags.
Kid-Sized Everything Keep aprons, tools and garden stools kid-sized to encourage hours of play that’s fun and parent-friendly, too.