Installing a love of gardening in your child will give him a wonderful hobby for the rest of his life. Gardening is an amazing way to spend time outside enjoying a green hobby and cultivating produce that can be relished! It’s easy for a child to think of gardening as an “adult” activity, though, so it can take encouragement. Here are a few tips to help you and your child to start a garden.
Let Your Kid Pick the Seeds
Take your child to a local plant nursery, so he can see the different vegetables and flowers growing. Encouraging him to look around on his own and find his favorite plants. The interest in gardening will naturally develop. You may also want to take him to a farmer’s market. Seeing vegetables for sale and meeting the people who grew them is a great way to gain a strong perspective of what this home garden could be.
Choose a Variety
Encourage your child to choose a variety of plants – flowers, vegetables, herbs, and perhaps even a tree. You should also add your own gardening knowledge about germination times or seek the help of a gardening enthusiast. You do not want your child to lose interest midway through the garden’s growing period; the best way to fight this is with plants that will grow, bloom, and produce at different times.
Buy Child-Sized Gardening Tools
Your child is cultivating his own garden, so allow him to have his own tools to do so. Help him to pick out is own gloves and tools. While this can be seen as a monetary indulgence, it is also safe. While gardening tools are not the most formidable equipment, hoes and picks are sharp and can be dangerous. Using too-large gloves or handling too-heavy tools could lead to a slip-up in the garden.
Encourage a Gardening Journal
A gardening journal is another way to encourage continued enthusiasm throughout the garden’s growing period. This is also a common way for gardeners to keep up with what is happening in the soil. Your child can write down everything he observes, whether it is the rainfall or the birds that are visiting or the amount of inches the new green shoots have grown.
Use the Garden’s Produce
Of course, you should take advantage of all the bounty a home garden produces! Help your child cut flowers and arrange them in vases for the house. Encourage him to choose recipes he would enjoy that involve the produce. Hint: pizzas involve basic garden ingredients like tomatoes and basil!
Terry Carter writes about gardening for Grandview Landscape and Masonry.