Gardening is a wonderful hobby with plenty of benefits to the mind and body. But not enough people are gardening these days. And what’s the best way to remedy that? Teach the younger generation to love gardening and they’ll have a whole new appreciation for it. Once they get a taste of the yummy fruits and veggies or smell the flowers from their hard work, they’ll be hooked. So, here are some tips to help get your kids into gardening and kick-start your little one into a wonderful hobby that will last a lifetime.
Let Them Get Dirty
One of the best parts of being a kid is getting dirty! Don’t limit them, don’t hold them back. Let the kids dive right in, feet and hands first into the earth. Not only is it fun, but it associates gardening with a positive experience and they’ll want to come back to it time and time again.
Let Them Choose What to Plant
Head out to your local home store and take a stroll down the gardening aisle. Bring the kids along and let them pick a couple of their own plants. Whether that’s herbs, veggies, or flowers. Giving them the choice to freely choose creates a sense of ownership over the task and they’ll be more likely to stick with it.
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Take Them to the Garden Centre
If your town has a local garden centre or nursery, opt to go there instead. Not only will you have more of a selection when it comes to plants and seeds for your garden, but you’re also more likely to be supporting local.
Take the kids and let them see all of the beautiful plants and have them choose the ones they want. When they get home, head out to the garden and have them do the work!
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Encourage Them to Harvest Crops
Whatever it is you tend to grow in the garden; herbs, veggies, flowers, just be sure to let the kids harvest their own yield. Let them pluck the tomatoes, pull the carrots, trim the herbs, etc.
Kids learn by doing, with hands-on activities, and if their hands are in the garden they’re learning to love it!
Cook with Their Produce
If you’ve had your little ones work hard to grow some veggies or herbs in the garden, then include them when using them to prepare a dish. Even something as simple as a veggie tray will do the job. It’s all about them seeing how their hard work and love they put into the garden pays off. Trust me, once they can see that, feel it in their little hands, they’ll be hooked!
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Create Good Habits
As most of you know, gardening isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ hobby. It needs constant, daily care. That means, watering, pruning, fertilising, etc.
Get your kids in the good habit of spending time each day tending to their portion of the garden. Teach them the proper way to do things, and then hand over the reigns. It’ll give them a sense of accomplishment and instil the good habit.
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Garden Indoors Too
If you live in an apartment or have a small yard, don’t fret! With awesome tools such as grow lights and tower gardens, you can have an indoor garden and still enjoy that quality time with the kids. Just check out Backyard Boss and helpful info such as the Solar Storm 440 review for more details.
What to Plant
Now, depending on the age of your children, the level of their comprehension will differ. So, it’s best to start out with some easy plants. Here’s a few to get you started.
Things like potatoes, carrots, turnip, and parsnip are all super easy to care for. Just make sure they have adequate water and they pretty much take care of themselves. Some root vegetables can even stay in the ground throughout the winter!
Now when it comes to growing berries in your garden, the best thing to do is stick with ones that grow on bushes and not on the ground. So, ones such as raspberries, blackcurrants or blueberries would be a great starting plant to try with kids!
Some flowers are super hard to care for, even for seasoned gardeners. So, stay away from anything exotic or tropical when planting flowers with kids. Stick with sunflowers, roses, daisies, or garden mums. There are a ton more, just ask your local garden centre or nursery, but these are a sure thing and a great place to start.
Other Easy Plants
I grew green beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, and courgettes with my kids this year and it was all super easy! These particular plants are relentless and take very little care. Just watering and daily pruning is all they needed. Also, I found that they all grew quite fast, satisfying my kids’ need for instant gratification.
Gardening is something we all should be doing these days. And the first place to start is from the ground up (pun intended) through our children. Get them out in the garden, teach them the ins and outs, let them have fun. Start as early as you can, make it a part of your family’s everyday life.
Over to you now. Have you tried any of these tips to get your kids into gardening? Let us know in the comments box below.