Gardening With Kids: Getting Started
Almost every winter, I say that this will be the year that I’ll start a garden with the kids. And every year, summer rolls around without me actually starting a garden. We’ve done containers of tomato plants and we usually have some potted herbs on our back porch, but we’ve never done the type of garden that you actually dig into the backyard.
This year, things will be different! I’ve been looking into square foot gardening, plus I have several friends with green thumbs who have offered to give me some pointers. So I’m gathering up all that I know and we will be putting a raised garden bed in our backyard this spring.
What about you? Will you be planting anything? If you aren’t gifted with gardening know-how, here are a few tips on gardening with kids to get you started. If you have tips to share, then please leave them in the comments section below!
- Look at your yard and figure out where the sun shines. Some plants need partial sun, and others need full sun. A few plants do better in dappled sunlight. In order to avoid starving your sun-loving plants or burning your shade-loving plants, you need to know where in your yard provides what your chosen plants need. If your yard faces the south, this might be the best place for the most sun.
- Get the soil ready. Here in Florida, our soil is pretty much sand. While this is good for growing carrots, it’s difficult to grow many other types of plants! Building a raised bed and filling it with gardening soil, peat moss and compost might be the best way to go if your soil is unworkable. You could also start tilling your soil and analyzing it with a kit purchased at a garden supply store. The employees who work in the store can give you hints of what to look for and add to your soil to make it more garden-friendly.
- Decide what to grow. Think about what grows well in your area; if you don’t know, ask the next time you visit a farm stand or at your garden supply store. I live where it’s hot, so growing apples is nearly impossible, and lettuce might end up bitter, as it needs to grow in cool weather. If you live in the North, you’re not going to have much luck growing tomatoes in March or bananas any time of year. You’ll also need to keep the size of your garden in mind: Overcrowding most veggies will result in dying plants, not extra produce. Follow the directions on the plants or seeds that you buy. Speaking of which…
- Decide whether to start with seeds or plants. This might be decided for you, depending on what time of year you’re getting your garden established. If it’s early in the season, you might be better off starting with seeds, and if it’s later, with plants from the nursery. Some plants are usually started as seeds. These include beans, pumpkins, lettuce, garlic and beets. Others transplant well and you can simply buy plants; some of them are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and broccoli.
If you can decide what to plant, and where and when, and get your soil ready, you’ll be a step ahead of the game when it comes time to actually plant your garden.
Do you have any more tips about gardening with kids to share with those of us without green thumbs?
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- Spring Gardening Projects with Kids | MissDough | March 7, 2013
Teaching kids at a young age gardening is great and a great together time activity.
Allowing the child to have a small section of the garden, maybe just a plant sized area, so he/she can plant and then see that plant grow may be a nice way to include the child in the gardening process. It can be a educational experience as well as a family one. The child can examine and may even be able to water the plant(s), monitor, and describe the plant as it grows.
I have 2 granddaughters that just love to help plant my flowers. They are so excitied when they bloom. Get thing to do together.
Gardening with kids can be fun & they learn about different types of foods & will try things they may never have before because they grew them!
Kids should have a little garden to teach them to take care of things and hopefully learn to eat veggies.
We have two big gardens in our backyard and my son LOVES to help dig in the dirt 🙂 We already have our light/grow table set up in the garage again and in a couple of weeks we will start some seeds out there.
Great tips for getting kids gardening!
My son has been helping his father with the gardening since he could walk, he loves it.
At home, my kids just love gardening, but with my husband, not me.
When I try, nothing grows up.
My duty is to use the fresh food they bring me from our backyard. Is quite fun.
I have a garden with my students each year. Then we eat what we grow, and they learn so much.
My thoughts: start seedlings indoors, and have the kids plant their own seeds – they watch their own plats start to come to life; involve them in the transplanting process; let them eat what they grow (if veggies/fruits).
Thanks for the gardening inspiration. My youngest has been gardening with us for a few years now. Last year he even created his own version of a Zen garden, complete with Gnomes from Target. Cute! Hope he wants to do it again this year.
We’re planning our spring garden now. Spinach and lettuce and radishes will be the main features!
Sharing time with my kids while gardening makes me really happy.
I started a raised bed garden with my 3 yr. old granddaughter a couple of weeks ago! She actually planted some radishes,carrots and spinach! Our veggies have sprouted and every weekend when she comes to visit we check their progress! She was so happy to be helping grandma, she also has visited her mom and my garden club! We are looking forward to harvesting!
I used to garden with my kids all the time. It taught them responsibility and gave them a little understanding of how life worked. You feed and water them and it grows,you eat and drink and you grow.
We love to garden, have your kids pick the veggies they want to plant – that way they will eat them!
My daughter pretty much is a mini me and enjoys gardening with me. She loves to help pull the weeds even lol
Make gardening fun, rather than another chore or thing they are required to help with around the house
Gardening with your children can not only be lots of fun, it is educational as well. It teaches them about the environment and they will be able to eat fruits of their hard work.
Teaching them to garden at a young age mostly shows them the healthy way to eat all their life.
I totally agree. We try to take the seeds from the fruits we eat and prepare them for planting. Problem is they usually don’t make it past 2-3 weeks 🙁 We just started a new Avacodo plant 2 weeks ago and going strong. Wish us luck!
Gardening with kids is such a fun family activity and a great way to introduce them to the wonders of nature. But kids can become easily discouraged so it’s best to start with easy-to-grow plants to ensure their first gardening experience is fruitful.