Gardening with Kids

You can teach children about gardening all day long, but the best way for kids to learn the importance and fun of gardening is to let them get their hands dirty. Teaching them about taking care of our planet is an invaluable lesson that will stick with them for their entire lives. If we take care of our planet, it will take care of us.

 

What are the best plants for kids to grow? What lessons will my child learn from working in the garden? How can we make gardening seem like a game instead of a chore? These are all great questions that we are going to answer for you!

 

See Also: SCHOOL GARDENS GROW STRONG STUDENTS

Allow Your Kids to Make Mistakes.

 

An important tip to keep in mind when gardening with your children is to allow your kids to be messy and to make mistakes. Their garden may not be as pristine as yours, but remember that they are just learning.

 

It helps if you have a separate area that your kids can claim as their own garden. This gives your kids a sense of importance and ownership, and then, your garden can still be exactly the way that you want it. Gaining experience in the garden is all about learning from your mistakes. You’ve made your gardening mistakes, and now it’s time for your kids to make theirs.

Teach the Gardening Basics.

 

What do plants need to grow? Plants need sunlight, water, appropriate drainage, good soil packed with nutrients, and strong, healthy roots. What roles do each of these necessities play? Show them how you provide what the plants need to thrive. Let them watch how you water a plant and how you apply compost or fertilizer, then let them practice on the next one. Explain the “why” as you’re teaching the “how.” Depending on how old your child is, this is a great opportunity for a little lesson about photosynthesis and soil science.

 

See Also: LIFE IN THE SOIL

Pick Your Plants.

 

Are you trying to decide what to plant next in your garden? Let your kid be a part of this process! By getting your child involved at the very inception of the garden, they will feel emotionally invested in the plants that you choose together.

 

If you are planting from seed, this is a great time to show your kids how much life can come from one tiny seed. You can even make it a competition: First seedling to make it to 3 inches tall wins! If you’re going to buy plants from your local nursery, take your child with you!

 

Choosing plants should be a sensory experience, how does it look, how does it feel, how does it smell, if it’s edible — how does it taste? Let them pick out their favorite flower, veggie, or herbs. Help them pick out the fascinating plants — carnivorous plants, edible flowers, plants that can dye fabrics. Amaze them with the incredible world of plants!

 

See Also: 7 EDIBLE FLOWERS AND WHY YOU SHOULD EAT THEM

 

See Also: PLANTING THE DYE GARDEN

 

Make a Themed Garden.

 

Is your child expressing an interest in the kitchen? Plant a chef’s garden, filled with herbs and veggies! Does your kid love any and all animals? Make an animal themed garden! If your kid can read, head to your local nursery and tell your child to pick out plants with animal names! Does your kid love pizza? Plant a pizza garden, complete with basil, oregano, and tomatoes! Does your kid love butterflies? Plant a pollinator garden and teach the importance of our hardworking pollinators!

 

See Also: THE TOP 10 PLANTS THAT ATTRACT POLLINATORS

 

Create a wacky container garden.

 

Container gardens don’t have to be boring — let your kid add his or her own unique style by choosing the containers on their own! Some great ideas are some old rain boots, an old soccer ball — cut in half, toy dinosaurs or animals that are hollow and can hold soil, a gum ball machine, a sandbox, etc. Make the garden fun by incorporating their toys!

Make it a game.

 

Have your kids go on an adjective hunt — Give them an adjective, and they have to find a plant in the garden or local nursery that matches that description. For example, if they receive the adjective “soft,” they might find Lamb’s-ear or Sage.

If it’s summer time, what better way to give your plants some extra water than by playing water games in the garden? Grab some water guns, water balloons, a hose, or a sprinkler, and let the fun begin!

See Also: 4 UNIQUE WAYS TO ENJOY YOUR SUMMER YARD

Don’t Forget to Have fun.

 

Ultimately, the goal of getting kids involved in the garden is to have fun! So get your hands dirty, revel in the time spent together, share the garden successes, learn from the garden failures, and always anticipate your next gardening adventure!

Click below for more kids’ gardening tips and inspiration!

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PEST PLANNING: HOW TO BRING IN THE GOOD BUGS

We hear about the value of beneficial bugs in the garden all the time, and as gardeners, we want to do what we can to make sure our gardens are hospitable for these welcomed critters. But what if you don’t have the time or inclination to add to your garden routine in order to draw these bugs in? Are you just out of luck? Thankfully, no, because there are lots of places to buy bugs online. Here’s what you need to know before putting in your bug order.

WATERWISE GARDENING: ADDING WATERING SYSTEMS

When we garden, we also water. There’s no real way to grow plants without water — even the most drought-tolerant plants like agaves and cacti need water sometimes. And with many parts of the world experiencing regular drought conditions, it’s vitally important that we plan how to water our gardens while protecting this invaluable resource. Much of that depends upon the type of watering system you choose — choose poorly, and water will be wasted. So let’s go over the different types of watering systems out there — which one is right for your garden?

THE TALL TALE ON 5 TALL GRASS VARIETIES

I love a good ornamental grass — they add texture and movement to the garden and provide form for most of the garden year. An added benefit is that for nearly any garden site or project you have in mind, there is an ornamental grass that’s perfect for it. From container plantings to wide-open meadows and everything in between, ornamental grasses are an often-underutilized plant. So, let’s say you are in the market for some tall grasses (perhaps you’re creating that meadow, or you need to block a view or provide some height at the back of your border) — what are your options? As it turns out, many — but here are our top 5 favorites.
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