I got my interest in vegetable gardening from Dad who would come in from the fields and take me through the veggie garden checking for bugs and disease as well as taste testing. I would following him around and loved trying things. Steve’s interest in home gardening started early. He would be out in the yard picking berries and if I wasn’t there with him he would be sure to save at least one of each berry we grew for me.
Tips To Help Kids Enjoy Home Gardening
Take the time to excite your kids or grandchildren about home gardening by sharing the experience with them so they can do the same for their future kids and grand kids.
Below are a few helpful tips for getting kids interested in home gardening, both flower and vegetable gardens.
1. Let The Kids Pick A Plant To Grow
If I had the choice to pick a plant to grow at home when I was a kid I am sure it would have been a flower because I loved the brilliant colours but I would also have wanted to grow some vegetable of my own. But I was never given the opportunity.
Let your kids or grandkids pick out some plants and give them more than one choice. If you have a vegetable garden as well as flower gardens then you should let them pick out a flower they like as well as a veggie they would like to grow. A good start for most kids are sunflowers as they grow fairly large and have a beautiful happy flower. Later they will be able to harvest the seed for planting the following year.
2. Let Them Start Plants From Seeds
I remember starting beans seeds and growing bean sprouts in a bottle as a school project but never got to start anything as a kid. Kids will be amazed when they have the chance to grow plants from seed.
|Let Them Start Plants From Seeds|
Make it a project you do together with your kids. Check the progress and explain what is happening so you children learn as they are enjoying the experience. Why do we bury the seeds and why only a tiny bit of dirt over the seeds. Why do they need to be watered and why do they need sunlight to grow big and strong. Make it a learning experience.
Part of teaching kids about home gardening should include recycling. So when you start planting seeds why not recycle. We used our milk and juice cartons as pots to start plants from seed.
3. Start A Home Gardening Journal With Your Kids
Like I said, make home gardening a learning experience but one they will remember. To help your kids learn and remember help them start a home gardening journal so they can look back and see the progress, which can be very slow for a child.
You can use the Internet to find pictures of the plants at very stages of growth to print and add to the journal but you can also have the kids draw the plants if they would like.
Remember this is about getting kids involved in gardening so don’t make it too much like work. It needs to be fun. I’m sixty yet I still get excited every time I see a sprout poking through the ground where I planted a seed. Your kids will as well.
4. Kids Need To See Their Gardens
A couple of years ago a friend asked if I would plant a sunflower her daughter had started as a school project. I was happy to do it but then she never got to see her sunflower grow into a mature and beautiful flower.
|Kids Need To See Their Gardens|
I still watch my plants every single day and love watching the slightest changes. I can see a lot of what I grow in our backyard gardens right from my home office.
5. Let Them Get Their Little Hands Dirty
Kids like to play in the dirt whether it’s building roads like John and I used to do or making mud pies like our sisters used to make when they were little kids. Let them get their hands dirty helping you prepare the gardens, even if you need to fix things up later.
Get some tools that fit their little hands so they really feel like they are helping. As a kid I was always told to get out of the way and let the big people do the work. Make your kids feel like they are really helping.
|Let Your Kids Get Their Little Hands Dirty|
6. Let Your Kids Start Their Own Home Garden
Looking back to childhood I think it would have been great for us to have our own home garden where we could make mistakes and still have fun. It would have been nice to have a little section that was marked with our names on it, even if it was just growing beans.
7. Teach Them That Plants Need Watering
For most kids, myself included playing with water was about as much fun as digging in the dirt building roads but we weren’t allowed to play near the gardens. I think it would have been great to have the chance to water the garden, maybe a little watering can but that too was big people work.
Part of having a garden is learning how to water the plants and learning why they need to be watered.
|Teach your Kids That Plants Need Watering|
8. Allow Kids To Make Mistakes
That’s not right! You’re wrong again! Can’t you do anything right??!!
That’s no way to teach kids and you’ll find they lose interest really quick with that type of teaching. If you are going to teach your kids about home gardening it needs to be done with patience and love.
Maybe you need to reach back in your memory and think about how you learned things. I had parents that used the back of their hand to make me remember how to do things right. I quickly learned that I didn’t want to learn, from them anyways.
Kids are going to make mistakes but you, as the adult, have the opportunity to teach them with love instead of yelling or telling them to go play and then finish things on your own.