Monday, May 4, 2015

3 Steps to a Kid Friendly Garden


I love gardening! My family always grew large gardens when I was a child. Now that I have my own kids, we garden together. One year it was basil on our seventh floor balcony, another year it was squash in flower beds at the duplex we rented.  Every year my children look forward to being involved and learn something new.

This year I was envisioning a huge, organic plot, like the one my grandpap used to grow. Then life with kids happened, and it was time to plant here in the Southeast, and I did not even have seeds! If you had wanted to do a garden for your kids this year, but it's already planting time (or a little past!) where you are, don't give up! There is still time to harvest the benefits of gardening with your children.  Just follow these three easy steps.


Did gardening season catch you by surprise?  Don't give up on planting a garden to enjoy with your children!

What is a kid friendly garden?

A kid friendly garden is a space with growing plants where children are welcome.  It can have special features, or it can just have plants.  Children are naturally drawn to growing things, as long as we make the space safe and allow them to participate, the garden is naturally kid friendly.

Step one to a kid friendly garden: go shopping

Now, if you are a seasoned gardener, or have plenty of time, it is better to make some plans. If that is you, check out what Evelyne at Nemsock farms has to say.  However, if you are like me this year, and just want a great learning experience, grab the kids and head to the local hardware store.

Did gardening season catch you by surprise?  Don't give up on planting a garden to enjoy with your children!

Shopping list if you have dirt to plant in


Seeds, 1 packet per 3 square feet or 1 square meter you intend to plant

Shovel, if you don't have one already

Soil test kit, optional


Shopping list of you do not have dirt


Seeds

Dirt

Pots

Step two to a kid friendly garden:  Plant the seeds


Follow the dates on the back of the seed packet the best that you can, but remember this is about the experience.  Better to plant and fail than to not plant.  If you are looking for more detail, check out what Nelle at Rhythms of Play has to say about working with each plant with her kids.

Did gardening season catch you by surprise?  Don't give up on planting a garden to enjoy with your children!


You may need to spend some time preparing the soil before the seeds can go in.  Seasoned gardeners will spend significant time preparing the soil.  In our case, my husband borrowed a rototiller from some generous neighbors and we put the seeds in.  We did test the soil, record the results, and add some fertilizer.  I plan to improve as we go.  A kid friendly garden is all about learning.

Did gardening season catch you by surprise?  Don't give up on planting a garden to enjoy with your children!

Step three to a kid friendly garden: Watch.  


The point of a kid friendly garden is to explore how to grow plants.  In my case, I am new to gardening in this area, so it is  a learning experience for me too.  I started keeping a journal last summer to help is track how our plants are growing.

One of the main lessons we learned last summer was to protect the young plants from chipmunks until they were big enough that they wouldn't be eaten whole. This summer, we are adding to our knowledge. 


See how easy gardening with kids can be?   Now, grab your kids and head to the store!





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24 comments:

  1. "Better to plant and fail than to not plant." - LOVE it! That's exactly how we roll, lol! Every year I think I'm going to plan and plant the Mother of all Gardens and then all of a sudden it's 85 degrees outside and the only thing I've got in my beds is some potatoes. Oh well, we've still got some tomato seedlings that the kids are growing in egg cartons and they're super pumped about it - that's the best part of it all.

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    1. I absolutely agree. Watching the kids get excited and learn is the best part.

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  2. I think this is so wonderful. I have never had luck with gardening and therefore haven't really tried it with my kids. Looking at your kids makes me want to try.
    :-)
    Traci

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    1. Hi Traci! If your kids are young, you could just try a few herbs in pots. Your own basil, oregano, or parsley added to spaghetti or pizza can be quite a hit. And you don't have to make it all the way to fruit to be successful. Good luck!

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  3. Our kids want a garden and we mostly have the room for it ... i'm just not sure where we'd put it ... we haven't planned our yard yet ... We did jalepenos in a pot but had to leave for a week and it died.

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  4. It is so great to get the kids involved. Many kids don't make the connection with where their food comes from. What a great fun learning activity.

    Shannon @ Bohemian Junktion

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    1. Yes, I think even many adults have lost touch. I think it is an important piece of the world to grasp.

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  5. I've never been that great of a gardener, but when my baby is old enough I'd love to try and garden with her so it's something we can do together. Great tips!

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    1. I'm not a great gardener either. You won't regret making the effort for your child!

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  6. My girls have always loved planting seeds. They go crazy when they start sprouting!

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  7. Thank you for sharing these tips. we plant a container garden ever year. My son has his own plants he plants and takes care of.

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    1. You're welcome. It sounds like your family has a great system.

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  8. Thank you for sharing. My daughter and I planted sunflowers this year. I manage to kill everything I plant but it was a really fun time. They actually live for a few weeks this time.

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    1. Good for you! Our sunflowers were so so last year, but my kids loved them.

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  9. Awww. This brought back some great childhood memories. We always had a thriving garden.

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  10. My girls and I plant flowers together and it is one of my most favorite things to do with them! Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. I would like to get into more flowers. It really is more special with children.

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  11. Even our toddler loves to help water the garden in the mornings and although we were too late in planting to get any food from it (too hot), I'm sure the experience will help her join in with us when we try again in the fall.

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    1. Good for you. I am sure she will! We have had many failed attempts, but the kids are always up for trying again.

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  12. My toddlers love our garden! Thanks for sharing with the Frugal Family.

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I can't wait to hear what you have to say! Thanks for sharing.