Planning on introducing your children to the joys of gardening? Good for you! A little space of their own, teaming with bright flowers, a few yummy things to proudly eat, and some fun ornaments or two is a wonderful way to teach children to enjoy nature and learn a thing or two about science.
I thought I would put together a little guidance on making a garden a fun experience for a child, and for you.
Tips To Begin Child’s Garden
A few tips to remember as you start:
- Gardens need a sunny spot
- Start with easy seeds- there is nothing as exciting as success
- Keep everything smaller- the space, the amount of work, the tools, the size of the plants
If you have already chosen the plot, prepared the ground, and planned for garden fun, it is time to buy seeds. Seeds, because the whole process of growing something from seed gives us a chance to experience much of the mystery of life – nothing compares to seeing that seed sprout into a growing plant, watching it flower, go to seed, and thus restarting the entire process.
If you don’t mind me suggesting, I think that a child’s garden should have both a few veggies to bring into the kitchen and some bright, beautiful flowers, especially ones that can be easily cut and brought into the house. A baby greens salad and a mason jar of pretty flowers are both ways that the budding gardener can enjoy their contribution to the family, and their own enjoyment of a harvest.
Some seeds are easy to grow because of their size and quick germination. These are the ones I recommend for a child’s first garden. Links are connected to Parks Seed company- a reliable seed company if you wish the ease of ordering online. Amazon also has seeds for sale.
We pass on things to our children in our gardens, things like our love for nature, our work ethic (both the good and the bad of it), the most basic lessons of cause and effect, and both the joy and the disappointments of life all rolled up into one little project that we embark on together.
In “Gardening with Kids” by Marti Ross Bjornson, one gardener said this about his childhood gardening experiences:
Generally, the simpler and easier you make gardening for a child, the faster they will master the basic skills. Like all the rest of us, children will enjoy gardening and appreciate the wonders and mysteries of nature when they can enjoy the experience and get a reward for their work.
One thing I like to add to any posts on introducing children to gardening is the importance of entrusting them with real tools. The perfect solution to the awkwardness of adult size things is to get them a few child sized implements just for them. They will love it, the tools will last more than a few times in real dirt, and you will have gained a real helper!