One of my favorite hobbies in the world is gardening! Luckily, I live in South Florida, so I get to garden all year round. However, even with year-round beautiful sunny weather, the plants, herbs, and flowers just do so much better during the summer. Not only do I love to garden for myself, it has become a wonderful educational and bonding experience with my kids. So today, I thought it would be fun to let you know the great lessons your kids can learn from gardening. And I want to pass along some of the basics on starting a children’s garden and how to get your kids planting. Let’s get started!
The Educational Value of Starting a Children’s Garden
I could go on for a long time on the values and lessons learned by kids planting a garden. But here are just a few of my top reasons!
1. The Lesson of Nature
In a world of screens and computers, it is so great to get to get your kids planting flowers, herbs, and vegetables. I take moments when I am gardening with my kids to talk to them about where vegetables, herbs, plants, and flowers come from and how they grow. My kids love to water the garden and watch everything grow.
2. A Love of the Outdoors
One of my favorite things is to see my kids covered in dirt and mess from being outside. I feel it is a staple of childhood. I want my kids playing outside in the dirt and learning to use their imagination and brains to create fun and entertainment. Children’s gardens are a great way to teach the love and beauty of being outside.
3. Nurturing Imagination
When I garden with my kids, we like to create an enchanted fairy garden or butterfly gardens to spark interest and creativity. There is nothing better than watching your kids create fun storylines and reenact make believe fantasies all from a garden and their minds. I believe there is no greater lesson.
4. Love of Cooking
Yep, you read that right. In addition to flowers and plants, I have created a kids’s herb garden and a kid’s vegetable garden. My kids smell the herbs, identify different ones, water them, and watch them grow. They also watch vegetables grow and love picking them knowing we’ll be eating them later.
I love cooking with my kids and using the herbs and vegetables we planted. One of our favorite things to do is go outside with the kids, cut the herbs or pick vegetables, and use them in our recipes. It teaches them a lesson on sustainability, harvesting, and a passion for cooking (and eating!).
Top Tips on Starting a Children’s Garden (Gardening for Beginners)
So you’re in for building a garden with the kids, but you’ve never even started a garden yourself. What do you do? Where do you even start?
1. Choose a Location
Find a place in the backyard that gets partial sun and partial shade. You do not want an area in full sunlight all day long.
2. Plan Your Garden Beds
I recommend starting with a garden box that is not in the ground as your first step. They are easier to begin and maintain. I have this amazing fence garden.
3. Invest in Basic Gardening Tools
You will need gloves, a shovel, a small plow, and scissors.
4. Pick Your Plants
Decide what you’d like to grow. Then it’s time for my favorite part! Gather the kids and head to the nursery to pick out your plants, herbs, flowers, and vegetable seeds!
5. Get the Correct Soil
There are different kinds of soil for different types of gardening. Ask your local salesperson what kind of soil you will need for the type of plants you are planting and way you are planting (ground vs. box).
6. Start Planting!
I like to start with small plants, flowers, and herbs that are already rooted. We then transfer them out of the store bought plastic containers and plant them in the garden. Here are some quick and easy steps for planting:
- Dig a small loose hole where you want to plant.
- Remove your plant from the container.
- Soak the roots with water prior to planting.
- Break and loosen up the roots with your shovel prior to planting (important step).
- Place the plants in the hole you created and loosely cover with soil so no roots are showing and your new plant is secured.
- Water every day for 2 weeks.
- After 2 weeks, water according to the plant and what the suggestions are (ask your local salesperson or look it up online).
- Do not fertilize for the first month after planting. Then use a fertilizer one time per month.
Final Thoughts on Your Own Kids Garden Club
Gardening is a fun and easy thing to do with the kids this summer. You can start simply with one or two garden boxes or let your imagination go wild and create a huge garden. Regardless of how you start, gardening with the kids creates memories, gives them something fun to do, teaches them so many valuable lessons, and truly is fun for the whole family. I hope these ideas plant some seeds to get you planning your own home garden!
Happy Summer, everyone! 🙂