With warmer weather on its way, many are looking for great garden ideas. Vicki from Vicki-Arnold.com has written a fabulous guest post for us today that gives garden ideas. She includes basic ideas and even splits up projects and garden ideas by age group. I truly hope you enjoy reading this wonderful article and can implement some planting this year!
Gardening is on everyone’s mind right now and it is the perfect time to get kids involved. Gardening with kids connects them with the food chain, gets them outside, and encourages healthy habits like eating healthy and exercise.
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So what makes a good garden for kids? If you are looking for something they can do on their own, you need easy to put together and plant. That’s it. For beginners, a simple container would be ideal because it is very easy to plant, can be placed in more locations, and isn’t a big loss if it gets forgotten.
Basic Garden Ideas
- Windowsill gardens – Grow things like chives, basil, or even some lettuce greens.
- Flower gardens – Grow some flowers to brighten up your front porch or to give as gifts.
- Container gardens – Basically anything you can fill with soil can be used to grow a garden.
- Pizza garden – If you have a plot of land grow a pizza garden: tomatoes, basil, thyme, garlic, onions, bell peppers, and any other veggies you like on your pizza.
Teach the kids some good garden basics and let them go. Things they need to know:
- Plants need a lot of sunlight to grow.
- Check the plant’s soil daily, it should be moist, but not soaking wet.
- If using a larger plot, use newspaper and grass clippings for mulch (conserves water and prohibits weeds).
Now, let’s talk about some age-specific ideas.
Garden Ideas for Preschoolers
Start small with preschoolers. Give them a plant to care for – like an aloe that you can use for first aid or a spice that you use a lot (basil, thyme). It’s a good time to show them that plants are useful. You can try a fun wheatgrass project. Or if you have a workable garden space, try sowing some carrot or radish seeds with them. They are both relatively quick growers.
Garden Ideas for Elementary-Aged Kids
Let a group of them work a raised bed together. A 4’x4′ or 4’x8′ is a good sized bed, but if you are working with younger (or shorter) kids, make them 3 feet wide. This will make sure they can reach the center of the bed without walking in it. Square foot gardening could be a good place to start.
Garden Ideas for Teens
If you homeschool, you can assign gardening books to your teen for science. Then give them a place to run an experiment, you know, a garden plot. Growing your own food is a life skill that more people need to have, whether they homeschool or not. Here are some great gardening resources to consider:
- Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening by Sal Gilbertie – The subtitle to this book? How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into An Organic Produce Garden. It’s a great book.
- The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan – Another great book. This one has a great informational section at the beginning that gives detailed specs on just how much food you can produce on a tenth, quarter, or half of an acre. This book covers vegetables, fruits, grains, animals, and more in a practical overview style.
- The Organic Farming Manual by Anne Larkin Hansen – If you have a teen who is particularly interested in the subject, this is a comprehensive book to consider.
You don’t have to start big, in fact, it is better to start small and grow from there. Your small steps now will make a difference in the long run. Connecting kids with their food and creation produces profound, long-lasting effects. Make it a point to try something new this year!
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