Gardens are magical places where the imagination can run wild, and even the fussiest elementary-school child will likely find himself drawn into the magic of a sprouting garden, if it's designed to pique his interest. Plan the perfect garden for kids and adults alike.
Planning the Space
A garden can be as simple as a window box, or as complex as a massive farm bed. Plan the space based on the type of sun in your area: early morning, dappled through trees, late evening or all-day.
Visiting the Garden Center
Arm your child with a notebook and pen, and take him to a nursery or garden center to jot down plants of interest. Note sun needs on plant tags and ask plenty of questions to decide what plants work best.
Picking Out Plants
Choose a theme based on colors, to attract butterflies, or provide ingredients for a favorite dish or salad, to name a few. Choose fresh seeds and have your child inspect seedlings for signs of stress--yellow leaves or roots bound together under packaging.
Amending the Soil
Take a sampling of garden soil to your extension office for free testing. Have your child help you add compost, sand or peat moss as needed.
Planting and Care
Follow plant tag or seed instructions for spacing and other needs. Give children age-appropriate garden chores.
Reinforce the Lessons
Keep a journal together. Stop by the library for books and visit gardens for inspiration.
- USDA: Gardening with Children
- Growing in the Garden: Kids
- Organic Gardening: Gardening with Kids
vegetable gardening with kids, flower gardening with kids, family gardening
About this Author
Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University, studying education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills, re-using, recycling, and re-inventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.