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Introduce your child to the wonder of gardening

Young Children & Gardening

Spring is the perfect time to introduce your child to the wonder and awe of gardening. Young children are naturally curious and learn best by doing. Gardening is a hands-on learning experience.

Engaging your child in gardening can be as simple as creating a container garden with herbs, planting flower bulbs or contributing to a community garden. It's all about the experience. Gardening truly is a living laboratory that grows curiosity. You'll expose your child to nature and you can even encourage healthy eating habits by suggesting they eat what they grow (assuming your growing something edible). Working with plants creates an environment where exploration is the norm and taking care of nature is valued.

9 Tips for gardening with a child

  1. Ilittle boys gardeningnclude your child is all aspects of your garden from planning to harvest.
  2. Do your homework together on what plants to grow and the best soil for a plentiful harvest.
  3. Start small and simple. Relax and enjoy the moment (one pot may have 30 seeds and another only 1 – that’s okay).
  4. Select low-maintenance plants that are easy to grow and have a short growing season. Kids want to see results quickly. Cherry tomatoes, lettuce and herbs are good choices for a first-time gardener.
  5. Set your child up for success by putting your garden in the best soil and light. Prepare the soil and add compost or store-bought soil conditioner (check a local garden center).
  6. Prevent frustration with a “can-do” garden, which is a garden with tasks your child can do easily.
  7. Have modest goals and create a routine like a regular time to water the garden, pull weeds and check the plant's progress.
  8. Use child-sized tools and equipment.
  9. Encourage exploration and creativity. In addition to inspecting your plants this could include visiting friends' gardens or public gardens like the Ted Ensley Garden at Lake Shawnee.           


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