How To Teach My Child To Garden?
Learn how to start an easy backyard garden in a small space, what seeds to plant, and why gardening is super beneficial for all children?
Children belong in the garden because it builds a connection to nature, develops their character, and cultivates a connection to the importance of eating real food.
Gardening is an invaluable lifelong skill all children should be taught from an early start.
What to Plant in My First Garden?
With your first garden keep it simple.
Gardening takes practice, but you can set yourself up for success by planning a simple garden with just a few easy to grow plants.
By starting with a container garden you can begin teaching your child how to garden successfully in a small space.
Creating a salad container garden is a fun project to teach your child how to garden because you can easily grow a variety of your favorite loose leaf greens in a small space and enjoy a continual harvest all season long.
To start a salad container garden select a container that has adequate drainage and a soil depth of about 8 inches then select your favorite greens to grow like Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach, Butternut Crunch Lettuce, and Ruby Red Lettuce just like the picture below.
If your new to container gardening, simply pick just a handful of plants to grow like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, kale, carrots, and loose leaf lettuces.
Also incorporate a variety of herbs to use in the kitchen like mint, green onions, basil, parsley, and cilantro.
Don't forget to add a touch of beauty to your garden with the addition of flowers to increase pollination productivity, plus this is a great opportunity to teach your child about a variety of symbiotic relationships present in a healthy garden.
All of these vegetables, fruits, and herbs are easy to grow in a small space and are perfect for teaching your child how to garden?
If you have a larger garden plot, you can plant pumpkins, zucchini, watermelon, and squash which are all relatively easy to grow but do require much more space.
Container Gardens for Beginners
A container garden is the perfect starting point for those new to gardening who are interested in planting produce that can thrive in small spaces.
To start a container garden simply find a container that has good drainage and provides a soil depth of 8-12 inches then plant seeds to their required depth with adequate spacing.
The specific needs of each plant will vary but this information can be located on the back of your seed packet.
List of Plants that Thrive in Container Gardens:
Loose Leaf Lettuce
Square Foot Gardening and More
Plants all have different requirements for spacing and this list outlines plants to grow that require adequate spacing to reap a bountiful harvest.
Square foot gardening is an option for most of these plants including all the brassicas, yellow squash, and zucchini.
In a square foot garden you are able to grow a variety of produce in a small space giving each plant its designated spacing requirements for optimal growth.
However, plants that produce fruit off a long vine need room to sprawl out including watermelon, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkins.
Another fun garden project to share with your child is growing your own carving pumpkin just in time for Halloween and take this challenge to the next level by oven roasting the seeds for a healthy fun snack to enjoy.
List of Plants That Need Room to Grow:
What Age Should You Start Gardening?
Gardening is a hobby that can be enjoyed by all ages.
In fact, the sooner you introduce your child to gardening the sooner you can begin building a positive connection to nature and the importance of real food.
Food is one element of life we all share and where our food comes from is a valuable life lesson that is often left undiscussed.
Unfortunately, too many children have no connection to real food or an understanding of the importance of soil, permaculture practices, how to compost, an understanding of nutrition, or basic cooking skills?
By teaching your child how to garden from an early start you can begin fostering their love of nature and cultivate a real connection to food.
This connection is the beginning of a lifelong relationship to leading a healthy intentional lifestyle.
For the youngest gardeners begin with a simple container garden and sow plants that are easy to grow in small spaces like tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, and beans.
Cherry tomatoes are fun for kids because they produce an abundance of fruit from just one plant.
As your young gardener advances consider building a raised bed and begin learning about square foot gardening to grow a lot of produce in a small space.
Finally, once you have a green thumb expand and enjoy the bountiful harvest that larger plants have to offer like yellow squash, black beauty zucchini, crimson watermelon, and sweet corn.
Remember your never too young or too old to begin reaping the benefits of backyard gardening.
Why Gardening is Good for Kids?
Gardening is a great hobby that provides such deep life lessons that are invaluable to any child.
We already know that tending to a garden can help foster your child's connection to nature and real food, but the garden offers so much more.
By gardening your child can naturally reduce their daily stress while strengthening characteristics like determination, hard work, and perseverance.
Gardening requires a nurturing hand and patience, it teaches children to be consistent in caring for something.
Your child will also learn all about life cycles, organisms that live in the soil, weather patterns, and organic solutions for getting the best harvest from their garden.
They will achieve an understanding of how to save seeds, companion planting practices, and get a close up view of symbiotic relationships present in the garden.
With your child in the garden they will cultivate a love of nature and a passion for growing their own food, it is a life lesson that is incredibly valuable and often underestimated.
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