Spring is a great time to plan and plant a garden with your children. While planting time varies by different parts of the country, the start of growing seasons is the best time to get your kids involved in gardening. This allows them to get engaged in the planning and planting of a garden. It is also a great time of year to get them outdoors and have some family time.
Here are a few tips to get them involved:
Grow Something They Like
Have them participate in the selection process of what plants to grow. This will keep them interested in the garden. Try growing vegetables they love to eat. This will be fun and healthy at the same time. Most kids really like to pull plants out of the ground, so keep that in mind. They also like to smell and pick flowers and love the bright colors of many plants.
Give Everyone Gardening Assignments
Whether you have just one child or more make sure everyone participating has designated specific jobs. Some of these assignments will differ depending on the ages of the child. This teaches them about accountability. They can learn from these chores and have fun. They will develop a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Here are some assignments to consider:
- Planting Seeds
- Watering Plants
- Pulling Weeds
- Harvesting Plants
- Cutting Flowers
- Deadheading Flowers
When starting your garden it is best to start out small with one or two plants. Try designating a small area or one container for each child. It will give them a sense of ownership and pride.
Here are some easy-to-grow plants to consider:
Nasturtium – These bright colorful flowers are easy to grow and are also edible. They also climb which is interesting for children to see.
Sunflowers – These bright, bold flowers come in an array of sizes. The seeds are edible and can be used to feed birds. Another activity your child might enjoy.
Zinnias – These low-maintenance flowers come in many different colors. All you need is a sunny location and seeds and your child will be good to go.
Carrots – A plant that will grow best in cool weather. They can be grown in spring and again in the fall. Kids love to pull these out of the ground when they are ready to harvest.
Lettuce – You might find your kid loving to eat her salad when they grow it themselves. Leaf lettuce can be harvested in about three weeks so kids will see their work paying off quickly.
Snap Peas - Snap peas grow quickly and like cold weather, so this is one project children can undertake during spring.
Lamb’s Ear – Kids will love the texture of this plant with its fuzzy, silvery leaves. It is drought tolerant and does well in poor soil.
Lemon Balm – While the leaves on this plant are green, it has a citrus scent. Kids can smell and add it to their salads.
Mint – Mint has a wonderful fragrance and it is fast-growing. Make sure you grow this in a container, so it does not overtake your garden.
Another idea if there is a plant that has the same name as your child that might be fun for them to grow!
Let us know what you are growing with your child!