A Child’s Garden

Here’s HerbDoc with some great tips on gardening with your kids:

When I was growing up, my parents owned a cottage not far from the ocean.  I was so envious of the neighborhood children across the street as each of them had his/her own vegetable garden to tend.

Their mother kept a gorgeous yard with a very large vegetable garden but had listened to their requests to have their own small patches.  She took them out to the yard to look for suitable spaces for their plots and discussed what their seeds/plants would need to grow.  Two small areas, perhaps no bigger than 8 X 10 feet, were chosen, and since they were in an expanse of lawn, their dad was enlisted to get them ready.

Mom then went about gathering catalogs and finding out what the children wanted to grow.  She explained that every seed does not grow into a plant.  Seeds were ordered and were planted in various containers on the windowsills.

When late spring arrived the seedlings were hardened off and planted in the beds.  Additional trips were made to local nurseries for supplemental flower and vegetable packs.

All summer these children tended their little gardens.  They learned about the growth of plants and how weather and insects impacted their harvests.  In late summer they made a scarecrow to sit between their plots.

Many years later when I was an adult, the mother told me that her children were delighted to eat the fresh vegetables they grew, and that she felt that they had learned valuable lessons about the environment and responsibility while being physically active outdoors.  When I had my own children, I took her advice to heart and found that indulging my little ones’ natural curiosity and boundless energy encouraged budding green thumbs that still enjoy gardening today.

For some great resources for a first garden, read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle with your children and visit My First Garden on the web: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/firstgarden.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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5 Responses to A Child’s Garden

  1. Rudi Hempe says:

    I just think this whole Blog is a great production


  2. Libby says:

    This post has inspired me to get my kids more involved! I like the idea of letting them pick out the seed they would want to grow. Thanks!


  3. HerbDoc says:

    Save the seed packets too for marking the garden rows and for comparing the information on the packet to what actually grew. When my kids were small, we also used plastic knives and spoons with a permanent maker to label the rows.

    Good luck and happy gardening! 🙂


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