As spring rolls in all around the world, we still find ourselves inside due to COVID-19 pandemic. As you make plans to busy yourself and your children over the course of the coming months, you may want to consider a home garden! It doesn’t matter if you are experienced or not, gardening is a nice way to get out in the fresh air whether it is on a balcony or in a backyard, and depending on what you plant tasty results!
Gardening with your child is also an awesome way to have fun while learning. There are so many skills your child can learn from growing seeds and understanding how plants grow to the cause and effect of plant life. Age is not a problem as well, mind you keep an eye on your younger child and make sure that truly is a weed they are pulling and not your harvest.
Let’s run through some tips to set you and your child up for success!
Take the time to do your homework – if you are a seasoned veterian of gardening then you’ll know about how much sun your location gets, how warm it is and what kind of plants you can grow because of this. If you aren’t seasoned, not to worry, just do your homework.
Consider your location and maybe even rescue an old sandbox with fresh dirt to create a nice space. If you are an apartment dweller consider plants with water reservoirs for some added help! They saved my tomato plants from drying out completely when a heatwave hit.
What can I have my child help with?
Get your child excited about gardening! Reading a couple of books to them is a great starting point, such as:
- The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- Lola Plants a Garden by Ann McQuinn
- The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
- The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
You also want to get them their own tools that they can use and are age-appropriate. Some gloves, a trowel, rake, and fork are great to start with. Start with seeds and engage them through the entire process. You will need to probably push a little to get them to help with the weeding and might have to take it on your own shoulders but have them involved as much as possible.
Another way to keep them going is to have them document everything and share pictures with family and friends. When they can show off their work, they will be excited and proud. You also can have them make a scarecrow to keep those birds away!
What are good plants to start with?
If you are a beginner gardener or a seasoned veteran then doing your homework on your climate and sun allocation is important. Take some time to prep and make sure that what you are planting is going to make it. You don’t want to set yourself or your child up for failure. Have them be involved with the homework too and have them help you gather your supplies.
Here are some plants that are good to start with and tend to have a quick turn around, and have some reliability to them.
- Sunflower: Just 1 or 2 will do the trick. They grow fast and you can eat the seeds.
- Lettuce: Quick and reliable.
- Radishes: Depending on the weather, it will depend on how hot or mild the radish is.
- Snow peas: These can be eaten off the vine.
- Cherry tomatoes: Can be grown in containers as well, just make sure to turn often.
- Nasturtiums: These provide a variety of color and bloom quickly which is highly encouraging for a young gardener.
- Bush beans: These don’t grow too tall but do grow quickly.
- Carrots – Build on patience as they take longer to grow.
- Potatoes – A never-fail crop.
- Pumpkin – You’ll need extra space but is an awesome reward at the end of the season.
Whatever you do decide to grow, remember to have fun with it! Gardening is a great way to get fresh air, reduce stress and spend time with those who are close to you during COVID-19. If you have always been putting off trying a garden, now is the time to try, and when you’re finished let us know how it turns out!