Gardening for youngsters

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Here is a summer season task that can keep children occupied the entire summer and should keep them out of mischief in the summer holidays.

Encourage and teach your children to grow their personal garden. It is fun and they’ll be able to learn a great deal dealing with growing vegetables from raising them for seeds to harvesting their own vegetables.

Children who grow their own greens also seem to be much more ready to eat their vegetables than do other children who are removed from the soil and the reality of food.

This job would require a few pre-planning and possibly will have to be began well ahead of time before school break up for the summer recess.

One of the simplest ways to begin a garden for children is to germinate the seeds indoors, teaching them how to sow them in plug trays and looking after them during their initial growing period.

After you have together decided what vegetables to grow the crops get started off indoors so they have got a better chance later they are moved to the outdoors.

Beans, radishes, and carrots are all simple vegetables to grow. Strawberries are a popular alternative to greens and are also thought to be an easy plant to take care of.

Have the children make and use homemade row markers for their vegetable garden by using wooden Popsicle (ice lolly) sticks of the flat board kind.

You could use pictures of the veggies, taken from the Internet and printed from PC and then laminated and glued on, or using just written names using waterproof labels. A good label maker such as the Brother P-touch GL200 (designed specifically for gardeners though obviously multipurpose) makes great labels for such sticks.

Give the child their own plot, whether it is an actually part of the vegetable garden that you may, hopefully, already keep, or a small (or even not so small) raised bed or a section with planters and make it the child’s duty to look after this on their own with you just there for advice. At such a plot the child or children will also be responsible for their very own weeding and watering.

This is any other excellent job that fosters independence and can supply the kids a sense of achievement come then end of the summer and fall – eating greens that they grew themselves in their own backyard, and I am sure that they will want to eat those greens and other vegetables.

Gardening can also be a great subject for homeschooling and the kids can also be encouraged to create their own “cottage and kitchen garden” proper where veg, herbs and flowers grow together.

© 2011