Gardening with Children


Starting a small garden is an excellent way for
children to learn how to care for the environment
and gain an appreciation for the many birds and
Ad

insects with whom we share our gardens. It is
also serves as an introduction to the changing
weather patterns and the seasonal cycles of nature
from planting the seed, harvesting (e.g. picking
and drying flowers or collecting the seed) and
then preparing for the next season.

If you can, set aside a special area in the garden
where they can grow the flowers and vegetables of
their choice. Decide what kind of garden your child
wants - butterfly, herb, flower, vegetable etc.

Sketch a plan for the garden and mark off the area
in the garden. Turn the soil breaking up any lumps
and condition with organic compost if necessary.

Tip: Buy child's sized gloves, gardening tools and
watering can to make the project fun and more real.

If you don't have a suitable area of ground use
container pots, planter boxes, or even an old half
wine barrel will do.

With very young children it is easier to grow flowers
directly from seed. The roots on seedlings easily
become damaged as they take them from the pots and
transplant into the soil.

Let children choose their own plants and look for
easy germinating types such as Cosmos, Snapdragons,
Sunflowers or spring bulbs such as Daffodils as young
children are typically impatient waiting for plants
to germinate and grow.

For vegetables - carrots, peas and strawberries tend
to be a favorite as they are easy to grow and great
to eat.

Create a garden journal and take photos as the project
progresses so your child will have something to remember
over the winter months until the next season begins.

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Gardening With Children
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March 19, 2009
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