Get Gardening with Kids

The first day of spring is March 20th! As the weather changes we spend more time outside.  Including your children in growing a garden of flowers and vegetables is a rewarding activity. Gardening is something families can do together, as there are dividends for everyone. Inspire your kids with creative ways to take part this season and develop a life-long appreciation for gardening.

Benefits

  • Develop understanding of relationship between the sun, the soil, and their climate
  • ŸŸMotivatŸes and encourages kids to eat well
  • Instill a life-long passion for plants and care for other living things
  • Learn that food can come from their own hard work, not just from a store
  • Experience that lets them claim bragging rights to relatives, teachers and friends
  • Create memories together

Have a Plan

  • Build a small raised bed just for them, cordon off a section of your area or even use a few small containers.
  • Try an easy to reach area for smaller children since you will want them to easily plant, water, weed and harvest their veggies without trampling other crops.

Kids Tools

Kids Love Gardening by jj walsh/CC BY
Kids Love Gardening by jj walsh/CC BY
  • Surprise them with their very own kid-sized gardening tools:
    • Gives them the opportunity to be responsible for their tools so they don't get lost or ruined
    • Tools can include a watering can, hand towels, bright gloves, garden markers, a set of hand tools, a small cart and even a pair of boots
  • Let them pick out seeds and plants, and help plant them

Use Imagination

  • Take them to a nursery or look at magazines or online for ideas
  • Castles, waterfalls, ponds can be created in mini versions... use your imaginations!
  • Give them a "hang out " spot in the garden that's their own
    Have them make scarecrows; if more than one child is involved then make it a contest
  • Let older children get creative to design and make their own labels for their pots or plants

 

Planting

by Monica R./CC BY
by Monica R./CC BY
  • Garden containers are pots and troughs made of clay, plastic, or wood and can be used to move plants around to grow best, especially if conditions change.
  • Plants grow in anything that holds soil and has drainage holes…so experiment with whatever is at hand, from a discarded bucket to an old tub!
  • A shallow children's pool makes for a perfect circular raised garden bed
  • No room outside? Try an indoor garden
  • You can start with a small container garden and expand as your family's confidence and excitement for gardening grows
    • Prepare the soil and areas where things will be planted
      • Dig a small patch, till the soil, hill the rows and make the holes for the seeds
    • Teach the importance of compost – an environmentally friendly thing you can do for the health of a garden
    • Start with easy, quick growers like green beans and sunflowers

Maintaining

  • Make it fun so that gardening is something they delight in, not become a chore or instant boredom
  • Children are usually very enthusiastic waterers at any age, pick a time they can do it daily
  • Allow older children to do tasks such as pulling weeds, mulching, feeding plants and cleaning up debris
  • Record the progress, give them a ruler or measuring tape to see how much their plants have grown

Harvesting

  • Make it a family affair, kids find it exciting when there are others to share the experience
  • Pick any vegetables, wash them
  • Talk about ways you can enjoy what they grew on their own
  • Share with family, neighbors and friends
Kids Love Gardening by jj walsh/CC BY
Kids Love Gardening by jj walsh/CC BY

There are so many benefits of gardening with your children.  Once kids see flowers growing and plants turn to food, they become more motivated to have a green thumb. Here at Living Expression Landscapes we inspire you to use your Spring Break as a time to begin and add gardening to your family's routine.  Dig in, and be ready to experience all the joys that come with it!