Gardening is a fun and beneficial activity for you and your children that can keep you busy all spring and summer long! Gardening gets your kiddos outside and helps to build an interest in nature. There are many benefits that your children can experience through gardening and in a previous blog, we talked all about these benefits!
Some of the benefits of starting a garden with your kiddos include a boost in fine motor skills, it teaches responsibility, teaches patience, boosts self-confidence, teaches healthy eating habits, and more! It also is a great way to spend some quality time with your children and create a special bond over a fun activity.
In this blog, we are going to help you get started! We wanted to talk about how to start a garden with your children and some additional gardening tips. While we may not be gardening experts at Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we understand how this activity could benefit your kiddo. If you have never gardened before, be sure to read this blog to get started today!
Gardening is not an easy task and creating a giant garden with your kiddo can make the task more daunting than fun. If this is your first garden, be sure to start small. Starting small can allow you to focus on a few plants and help them thrive rather than stressing over a ton of different plants and their individual care. Your child won’t need a huge garden to get started and once they begin to love this activity, you can always make it bigger. Starting small allows you to get used to the activity and helps you and your kiddo learn together!
Decide What You Want to Grow
Let your child decide what they want to grow. Do they want to grow plants that they can eat or do they simply want a garden full of flowers? Or maybe they want to grow a little of both! Either way, deciding what you want to plant can help you plan. Let them pick a few plants and figure out what they need to survive. Some plants will need more sunlight than others, some may need to be watered more. This can help you decide where to put your garden.
Choose a Garden Type
There are two main types of gardens that you can choose from — raised beds or beds that are built right on the ground. Either of these are great options for kids, so it really depends on what you like. Raised beds can be easier for you to work in and can be the perfect height for your kiddo, but they dry out faster than garden beds on the ground, which means you will need to be sure to water them more often.
Garden beds should be about three to four feet across and can be about 10 feet long, but can be shorter. If you want a small garden, do a simple four by four garden bed and make sure you can reach the middle without stepping into the bed.
Raised garden beds can make it easier to get started, control the soil, and protect the plants against pests. If you are starting your first garden, we suggest starting with raised garden beds. There are many raised garden bed kits that you can buy to build on your own, or you can simply buy a bed that is already put together.
Create Your Garden
Once you have your garden beds ready, it is time to prepare them for your plants. If you choose a raised garden bed, all you have to do is add soil and fertilizer to the bed. Garden beds on the ground take more work to get started.
For a garden bed on the ground, you will have to clear the ground where your garden will be. You will need to slice under the sod and remove it to create your garden plot. Once this is done, you will need to improve your soil by adding organic matter to make it more fertile. You will also have to till or dig the soil to prepare it for sowing or planting.
If you are looking for an easier garden to start with your kiddos, choose a raised garden bed, add soil and fertilizer to it, and you are ready to start planting!
Pick Your Plants
If you have already decided what you want to grow, now it is time to choose whether you want to start with seeds or transplants. Some plants will grow well starting as seeds, but some you may want to choose transplants to get started. Once you pick your plants, you and your kiddo can get to work!
When you and your child start planting your plants in the garden, you will want to make sure to give them enough space to grow. While they may seem small now, your plants will be much larger in no time and overcrowded plants will have trouble surviving. Be sure to learn how to care for each of the plants you add to your garden. It can be fun to create a schedule for your child to follow that lets them know when to water their plants.
Starting a garden can seem overwhelming and like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be! These tips can help make starting a garden with your child simple and fun. Be sure to get all the garden supplies needed and start planning your garden with your kiddo! They can benefit from this fun outdoor activity and you both can enjoy bonding over your beautiful plants.
At Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, we want to help you find new and fun activities for you and your kiddos to do together. We also want to help your child become curious about the world around them and how things work. Gardening is a great way to get your kiddo outside and spark their interest. They will love learning about the plants in their garden and watching them grow!
Learn more about our child care programs and be sure to contact us with any questions you may have! We have locations in Plymouth, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, and Eden Prairie. Find the location near you and learn how we can help your child grow and develop today!