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Guest post – Tips for gardening with your Kids

It is getting to that time of year when we'll be back out in the garden making it look pretty again. We'll head to a garden centre, pick some pretty flowers and watch them grow over the Spring and into the Summer. We do this every year, it's really the only time that we pay particular attention to the garden.

Each year, Zach becomes more inquisitive about the garden, about how things grow and how we have to look after them. Last year we had an indoor cress mishap and then he was fixated on a weed that he would sit and watch to see if it was getting bigger before his eyes. It wasn't, and we got cold bums as if I remember rightly, it wasn't in the Summer!

To say I don't know where to start with getting Zach involved in the gardening is an understatement. He wants to be involved and I want to not be frustrated when he does get involved. I have therefore gotten someone on board who is far more qualified than I am, for some advice in getting children to do some gardening.

Ann writes the blog Sumo Gardener and has dedicated most of her life to gardening. It is a subject that she thoroughly enjoys and she has been a fan of flowers and plants ever since she was a child. Over to Ann.

Tips for gardening with your kids 

Gardening is one of the best ways to relax whist also doing something productive. There’s just something satisfying about seeing your plants grow after weeks or even just days of providing sufficient care. As such, why not invite your kids to participate in taking care of the garden? Yes, gardening involves work, but it can also be a fun activity for parents and their kids – all without having to leave the comfort of one’s home. 

Kids and gardens 

More and more kids are starting to realise that gardening is actually an enjoyable activity. Likewise, parents are glad that they’ve found a way for their kids to learn more about the importance of discipline and of taking care of the environment. See, kids love playing with dirt, so why not take advantage of that tendency and help spark their creative minds along the way? 

Gardening enables children to observe and appreciate the beauty of nature. They will know firsthand what it means to be responsible for the life of other living things. Furthermore, it’s an activity wherein they can easily see the rewards for their hard work. 

Suggestions to make gardening easier 

Gardening with your kids doesn’t have to be a difficult process if you take some things into consideration. Using these tips, your kids will surely get the hang of gardening in no time. 

1) Plant easy crops

Parents should stick to crops that are recognizable and are not hard to grow. After all, kids can get impatient at times, so it would be fantastic if they can see the results of their labor as soon as possible. 

For example, radishes can grow within a month. In fact, the growing season of radishes can be as quick as 20 days. They can germinate after just three days, and it’s always nice to know that you can eat what you plant. Take note that a mild radish should be placed in an area with some cool weather while other varieties require planting under hot weather. Furthermore, radishes should be planted at most six inches apart from each other. 

Another popular crop for kids to plant is the sunflower. Within a week, sunflowers can sprout and turn into a seedling in a couple of weeks. Just like radishes, sunflowers change a lot in under a month – they’ll be about two feet tall by this time. Some sunflowers have seeds that can be roasted and consumed, so it’s much better if you pick that variant for your kids. 

2) Give your kids their own garden spaces

In order to really get them motivated, parents should allocate garden beds for each of their kids to use. It doesn’t really matter what kind of garden bed you will provide as long as they’re all sizable enough for kids to use and watch over. Likewise, it would be best if you chose the best area in your garden for their space. Make sure that their garden beds utilize nutrient-filled soil and are regularly exposed to sunlight. Like other activities, preparing these favorable conditions will ensure the satisfaction of participant. 

3) Let your kids learn how to use actual gardening tools 

Kids will appreciate gardening more if they used the same tools that you do. This means they should not just be handling plastic, poor quality gardening tools that are prone to breakage. Instead, they should learn how to use the tools that every other gardener uses to plant their crops. For one, kids can easily identify how to use a hoe or a spade to tend to their garden beds. If the equipment seems too long for kids, you can always cut or saw a section of it to provide a short handle. 

On a related note, your kids can even learn how to use hose reel, which is essential in keeping the hose protected and arranged after use. See, kids might leave the garden house exposed to too much heat and sunlight after they’ve watered the plants. In order to prevent this and maintain the stability of the garden house, it is important for the children to know how to use hose reel. Just follow the instructions and explain them to your kids using simple terms. 

4) Start with the seeds

Instead of telling your kids to watch crops that have already been planted way before they were interested in gardening, you should let them start from the beginning. This will allow them to observe the whole process of a plant’s life, which should hopefully inspire kids to become mindful of the natural environment. 

Overall, gardening with your kids can definitely be fun, educational, and simple to do. From learning how to use hose reel to knowing the ideal gap between crops, what matters is that you and your kids are willing to spend enough time to comprehend the whole process. 

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  • Reply Esther Diaz

    Can't wait to try this actually with my newphews. I invited them over to have some gardening at my home since school is over and proabably after gardening their will be more activities to do. Anyways, worth the reading. Thank you!

    April 5, 2017 at 10:16 am
  • Reply Mike Anderson

    Hello Lisa, yes I agree with you, gardening is one of the best ways for relaxation. It’s also beneficial for kids who interact with the nature. Thanks for this amazing blog.

    April 14, 2017 at 9:27 am
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