After 2020, we all now know the importance of knowing how to get food. It’s not quite so simple though, is it. Especially when you have little fingers everywhere. I’m going to give you some tips on how to start a garden with kids around. Before starting your garden, you will want to plan out your garden.
Where should you put your garden?
You can’t exactly just put your garden in any old willy nilly place. There is a bit of strategy to this. The biggest aspects being that you need sunlight and water access. If the spigot for your hose is on the north side of your house, you don’t want to put your garden on the south side, unless you have a really long hose. At the same time, if the north side of your house doesn’t get much sun, a different spot will be needed.
Therefore, when choosing your garden location, make sure that you have good sunlight and some water access.
Where are you getting your plants from?
Grow plants from seeds or buy from a greenhouse or both? You need to figure out where you are getting your plants from.
If you want to start seeds from the beginning, I highly suggest googling seed companies and getting on their waitlist for when their catalogs come out. They will just send you them around December or January. Let your kids circle what they want to plant.
If you go to the greenhouse, bring your kids along and let them pick out some things they would like to plant.
Make sure you never tell your kid no on what things to plant because of your preconceived notions of what you think they may or may not like. Your kid might surprise you and end up loving your homegrown kale! Remember, things from a home garden always taste better than their store bought counterpart!
If you are just starting out with gardening, look on the back of the seed packet or google the spacing and depth of each specific plant. Generally, the rule of thumb is how big a seed is, that’s how deep you go.
How to Start a Garden with Kids Around
Kids will get dirty. Embrace it. This is a much better thing than them sitting inside on a screen. You can always take a bath later.
Kids will get distracted while you are trying to plant things. They will inevitably find a worm or a stick and start playing with those. Try not to scold them for this. Their play is a good thing too. Just keep working and eventually, maybe not this year, they will keep up with you.
Don’t make gardening stressful for them. One year, my 3 year old literally dumped out carrot seeds in one big lump. This will probably happen to you, too. Maybe not the exact same scenario, but something like it. Don’t yell at your child for this. They are trying. Just help guide them to the correct way to do it all while letting them know how proud of them you are.
Do not waste your money on a cute kids gardening toolkit. Those tools will break in one week. Buy real tools. Even if they are the exact same as yours.
Plant kid friendly produce in the kid’s play are or where kids can easily access them. I love to plant cherry tomatoes, ground cherries, and snap peas where my kids play so they can have easy snacks throughout their play!
If you child still isn’t into gardening, maybe try giving your child a garden related task. Let them pick out bigger rocks, paint them vibrant colors, and use them as plant markers. Let your child organize your seed packets if that’s what they are into. Think outside the box.
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