Have you and your children completed the first four steps of your kids garden? They are:
1. You have chosen a garden spot for your kids; a place they can call their own.
2. The bed is raised so you can garden organically without runoff from neighbors’ poisons and chemicals.
3. The raised garden bed is filled with organic dirt.
4. You or your children have created a compost pile and it is in use.
Once those four gardening steps are complete, you are ready to start gardening with your children.
Where do you Begin?
The first step is to discuss this with your kids and decide what kind of a garden kids want, not the kind of garden the parents want.
Your children can start a garden of flowers, herbs, vegetables, or all three.
It probably is a good idea to have all three in the garden. Flowers in the front and veggies and herbs in the back.
Knowing how to grow food organically will be a great asset to your child as an adult. And eating organically now is very important, too.
Once that decision is made, you can decide to start with bedding plants or seeds.
I recommend using both.
It is exciting for a child to see a plant emerge from the soil. The plant pushes through the soil, usually with the seed perching on top of the first leaf.
Indoor Seeds: These can be started in pots on a window sill or in front of a sunny window long before it is warm enough to plant outside. Use small bedding pots if they will go outside soon. If they will grow for sometime indoors, use a 6 inch pot.
Outdoor Seeds: Although any seed will do, beans germinate fast and grow quickly. Most children will eat this very healthy food. If not, there is nothing bettre to teach a child to eat a vegetables than to grow it.
Unless you have a very large garden, it is probably more practical to start with bedding plants. One or two per plant variety is probably sufficient.
Bedding plants also offer a way to start the garden right now.
Kids are impatient. Parents don’t want them to lose interest.
A trip to a local organic gardening store starts the garden.
Plan to spend time here looking at the various plants, holding a parent-child discussion about height, water, and sun requirements, then deciding if a particular plant will fit your child’s garden spot.
This is also a good time to look at seeds if you have not previously planted a few seeds.
Use this experience as an educational one for parent and child.
Discuss the Budget
This is also a good time for parents to teach children money and budgeting lessons.
For a young child, this can be as simple as setting a limit on number of plants or seed packets he/she can buy.
It is a good idea to discuss the budget limits in advance rather than waiting until your child is ready to buy everything in the store.
"We are going to buy two plants (two packages of seeds) today. We can take our time looking but that is all we are going to buy for now. "
Time to Plant
It is a good idea to get bedding plants in the ground within a day or two from the time you buy them. If you can not do this, remember to water them. Small pots dry out quickly.
Note: The opinions expressed herein areexclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position ofCyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health orother professional whose expertise you might need to seek.