Tips For Gardening With Kids
One of my favorite things about spring is that I get to start planting herbs and veggies. Throughout our small backyard, we have a plum tree, white peach tree, avocado tree, lemon tree, and lime tree. There’s mint that I planted years ago that still pops up as well as blackberry vines that we can’t seem to get rid of. And now that I’m gardening with the kids, I look forward to our annual planting even more.
I don’t have a reserved area for planting – we plant wherever we can find the room. So you’ll find onions growing in a container that holds our hibiscus bush. There’s garlic growing with the Crown of Thorns. There are peppers in with the camellias…wherever there is room, we plant!
The kids always want to help, and so I make sure to plant lots of “kid friendly” items. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up that will help if you are going to be gardening with kids this spring and summer.
1. If you are going to start veggies or herbs from seeds, always start them in containers that can be planted directly in the ground when you are ready to transplant them outside. I use biodegradable containers you can buy at your local nursery, or without having to spend any money, I will use those cardboard-like egg cartons. Simply put a couple of holes in the bottom and they are ready to go…you can plant them directly into the ground without disturbing the seedlings.
2. Make sure to purchase hearty, kid friendly (and hard to kill!) veggies like squash, tomatoes, and strawberries. If you aren’t willing to start from seeds, you can get small already established plants at any home improvement store.
If you are starting from seeds, be sure to include the kids in the process! Here are pictures of Mia planting basil and cilantro in little greenhouses that I found in the dollar section at Target. Each greenhouse included everything we needed to plant, as well as step-by-step instructions. You can also find seeds like Veggie Tales at home improvement stores as well.
3. Have each child responsible for a veggie or herb. That way, they’ll be able to watch the growing process as well as understand what it takes to help a plant grow: water, sun, and keeping their hands off of it.
4. Have fun! Teach the kids about a variety of plants and flowers that grow and quiz them along the way. Make sure to explain that not everything will make it, and that if a plant dies, they can start the process again from the beginning. Let them dig in the dirt and get their hands dirty…and be sure to take lots of pictures!
5. Replant what you can. Did you know that certain vegetables can be replanted so you can use them again? The picture above shows a little hand holding back stalks of celery – that was replanted from a bunch of celery from the store. Another little hand is showing us huge green onions that had been replanted. Here’s how to regrow red onions, as well as how to regrow green onions, celery, and garlic.
Do you garden with your children? What tips can you share?
Images via Natalie Hoage