Gardening with your kids is a wonderful way to teach them about where food comes from, encourage them to eat healthy and will foster a sense of accomplishment when they harvest what they’ve grown. Plus, kids love playing in the dirt!
Starting a children’s garden doesn’t require extensive gardening knowledge so don’t worry if you think you have a black thumb. There are many simple ways to get started and without a large investment you can start a garden in pots or in the ground.
Packets of seeds are an inexpensive way to begin your garden. A sunny south-facing window in late winter is the perfect spot to plant. Go online or browse a gardening catalog during the winter to select the plants you want to grow. Look for plants and flowers to start indoors as well as those to plant directly in the ground. Checking on the little seedlings as they emerge from the soil is a wonderful way to start your day. Don’t forget to label them so you know what’s what.
Start a journal about your gardening adventure; paste seed packets and photos of the emerging plants. Have your children write, draw or dictate their impressions of their gardening experiences. Don’t forget to write down your own thoughts as well. Not only are you spending time together talking and creating, you’re making a family heirloom you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
When the weather warms up head outside! If you have a little garden plot begin working the soil to loosen and aerate. Don’t disturb the soil if it’s overly wet, as you’ll create rock hard boulders that little roots can’t penetrate. Add some compost if needed, and measure the space to plot your garden. Buying kid’s size gardening tools is the perfect way to encourage them to help. They’ll probably just dig around in the same spot but who cares. This is all about fun and dirt.
When the soil warms up direct sow any flowers or veggies you’d like or transplant your window garden. Let your child plant the larger sized seeds and don’t worry if they’re not perfect or if they plant 25 seeds in the same spot. This is where perfection can be thrown out the window. You can thin out the mass seedlings later. Mark the rows and plots with popsicle sticks you decorate together. Or get creative and make fun markers from clay or paint. This can be a fun family project on dark winter days.
If you don’t have the space to plant in the ground you can always use containers. Almost anything can be grown in pots and you can direct sow or transplant your seedlings. Don’t forget to record this momentous day with more photos and thoughts in your journal. Add a smudge of dirt to make it authentic. Go to the library and find books about insects and caterpillars and how they help your garden grow. Not all bugs should be squashed (most shouldn’t actually) so teach them how to appreciate all living creatures. Feel free to squirm behind their backs.
As your garden matures and you begin to harvest your bounty make bouquets for a neighbor or press the flowers in your journal. Use the veggies and herbs to cook; this is the time to teach them where pizza comes from. If you’ve planted sunflowers explain how they’ve provided the birds with food for the upcoming winter. You’ll create hours of fun, family time and if you’re lucky plant some great future habits for your kids.
At Olympic Lawn and Landscapes we love growing things. And we especially love helping you grow things. From landscaping to beautiful curbing to patio kits we can help you and your family enjoy your time outdoors. So call us today at 816-697-2720 for more information.