This time of year always reminds me of my first garden. My mom allowed me to take over this small patch of our yard when I was just a kid. I would spend hours outside weeding and watering my plants with the utmost care.
Looking back, I see how important it was for my mom to bestow that garden upon me. Her lessons in how to grow and use plants are incredibly beneficial to my life now (way more than what they taught me in school).
Not only did I learn the difference between a daffodil and a daisy, but I also developed a deep appreciation for the Earth and its offerings. I saw with my own eyes seeds become fruit-bearing plants. If that?s not a valuable experience for a child, I don?t know what is.
Here’s what you need to know about creating the best gardens for your kids.
Planting Seeds to Last a Lifetime
Hands down, the best type of garden to share with your child is an organic one.
It’s important to begin instilling an appreciation and understanding of organics at a young age, and organic gardens won?t pose any harm to the environment or your child. Not to mention, the fruits and vegetables that result from organic gardening will be richer in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They won?t be robbed of their natural goodness through synthetic chemicals or pesticides.
Best Veggies to Plant in a Kid’s First Garden?
Children can become bored easily, so it’s best to incorporate some faster-growing options.
Sunflowers are a great choice (not to mention they make adorable photos with your kids). So are snow peas, which grow fast and are fun to eat right off the vine. Other plants that will sprout quickly are lettuce, radishes and pumpkins.
Throw in some other veggies and fruits, ones that are just plain fun for kids: cherry tomatoes ? plant seedlings, not seeds ? carrots, potatoes, watermelons and strawberries. These will provide a yummy yield that kids are sure to love.
Creating a Memorable Whimsical Experience
Not every kid will be excited about gardening at first.
That’s OK. If you’re having trouble sparking an interest, explore the possibility of a storybook or a fairy garden. These gardens are like those from your favorite princess stories. They’ll have a magical feel about them; they’ll be colorful, include a trellis and maybe have a tiny stone pathway weaving around the flowerbeds.
You could also post some signs throughout the garden, featuring princes and princesses, directions to the castle, etc. This also makes a great play place for your kids to bring their friends or even have tea or play dress up outdoors.
Even if you don’t have a large area to plant (or none at all for those in apartments), you can create fairy gardens in just a large pot with patches of flowers, herbs, succulents and moss surrounded by fairy houses (you can buy plain wooden birdhouses and let the kids paint them) and a small stony path.
Hopefully your excitement about the garden will be enough to pique your child’s interest. It’s extremely rewarding to watch your child pull out their first carrot, beaming with pride!