Imagine your child going outside to harvest the salad for tonight’s dinner that they GREW THEMSELVES. Not only that, they then proceed to eat every last piece of it and almost lick the bowl clean of the homemade vinaigrette they whipped up all on their own.
That’s the power of a garden.
Source Image: Canva
In this article, I'll show you how to start a garden with your child — even if they're too young to know what soil is! With the right information and guidance, there is so much that you can do together.
If you want your child to engage more with the world around them and with nature, there’s no better way than growing a garden. And yet, you don’t feel you’re the one to teach them. You may even consider yourself a reprobate plant-killer with a chronic black thumb. Gardening feels out of reach for your family with too many variables and online opinions to wade through. But there’s hope! It is possible for families to start their own garden at home for growing food together. Try these tips!
2. Start with a raised bed. These give children clear boundaries between plant space and people space. It is also easier to create a square foot planting grid in one compared to an in- ground bed.
3. Take your child seed shopping. Let them look at the colorful packets with you and pick the crops they are most drawn to. Get a few of the ones that maybe won’t grow easily, just as a learning experience. If you stick with the All-America Selections, you won’t be disappointed! These are crops selected for ease of growth and consistent production.
4. Get a cute compost bin and set it on the kitchen counter. Have your child teach the rest of the family about what can be composted and what can’t. Invest in a tumbler composter that they can easily spin themselves.
5. Create trellis tunnels for growing crops vertically such as green beans or cucumbers. These bring the whimsy into a garden space that is irresistible for young & old!
Gardening isn’t just about growing plants! It’s more than that; it’s a way of life that teaches children responsibility, selflessness, hard work, creativity, and teamwork. These skills can help them as they grow up into adults who are prepared for life's challenges.
As they grasp the concept that compost - their dead banana peels!- can turn into new, rich soil, they will begin to understand the cycles of life, decay, and renewal always at work around them.
What better way to connect your child with the world around them than gardening? That world will be a deeper, more meaningful place for your child when he or she grows up knowing that they can have an intimate relationship with the earth.
Gardening is a meditative thing that allows you to be in the moment and soak in some vitamin D as well as providing healthy, organic food for you and your family. And it’s a way for you as a parent to bond with your child.
Gardening for kids is taught through Grounded Kids Grow, an online garden school. Our aim is to equip children with both the tools and knowledge they need to develop as engaged Earth citizens. When you garden, you grow!