Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Teaching Children To Garden

Tips On Creating A Garden For Children

Getting kids involved in gardening is easy and a lot of fun. With just a few simple steps, your kids will be growing delicious food in no time.

Prepare the Soil
Kids may not be ready for the tilling, raking and hoeing necessary to start a garden, but you can still involve them in the process by teaching them how each step works to create a fertile foundation. Let older kids help turn over the soil and apply compost to get everything ready for planting. Explain how creating a healthy garden bed will benefit the garden as a whole so kids can begin to understand the connections between the earth and the food they eat.

Sow the Seeds
Take your kids seed shopping and let them select a few veggies to grow. Read the seed packets together to see what each one needs to thrive and how long it will take to start producing. Try to choose seeds that are easy for little hands to handle. Garden plants such as green beans and lettuce grow just about anywhere and offer quick and prolific returns for kids' efforts. When it's time to plant, let older kids make rows themselves or help their younger siblings. Then show them how to space the seeds and cover each row with the proper amount of soil to get the best results.

Water and Tend
Invest in a set of tools just for your kids so they can learn how to tend the garden once everything begins to grow. Protective gloves, watering cans and trowels are all essential for the budding gardener. Show your kids how to thin out plants and clear away weeds to keep everything growing strong. Explain the importance of regular watering and, if necessary, feeding for proper plant nutrition.

Harvesting the bounty of the garden is the most exciting part for kids. As they watch their chosen plants grow and get closer to a finished product, explain the various stages of plant development. Point out how the different types of flowers on garden plants become food and teach them how to recognize when each variety is ready for picking.