Four Tips For Home Gardening With Kids
I have two childhood memories that stand out above all others. The first was gardening with my granddad and the other was a foster brother taking me fishing for the first time.
That’s me on the left and my fuzzy headed brother John on the right. This is the last picture taken before we left New Brunswick for Ontario and the Children’s Aid Society. Life would never be the same.
I have very few memories of that time but one I do have that is still very sharp in my mind. It was my grandfather taking me into his garden and sharing his raspberries with me. At that moment raspberries became my most favourite food.
Fishing is another story that changed the path my life was taking. I’ve always said it’s important to take kids fishing as I really feel it changed my life for the better. I also believe it’s important to teach kids how to take care of plants is a great thing as well.
Helping kids learn where food really comes from, other than the grocery store, is important. So it’s important to teach kids early so it gets in their blood like it did for me. It’s a great goal to teach a child about home gardening for flowers and vegetables. Teach them what good healthy food is as they can carry this with them for life. For me it’s been more than 50 years since my first gardening experience and I love it.
Our son Steve is all grown up now but if I were sharing home gardening tips with him today we would definitely have fun with the Topsy Turvy Strawberry planter. It’s so cool to be able to walk outside and just pick a strawberry off the hanging planter.
Think about it for your kids as it can be a really fun project.
1. Make Gardening Colourful
Have you noticed that kids love colour, lots of colour. I just captures their little imaginations and can keep their attention longer than most things.
With a sense of colour you can make things so much more interesting and eye appealing so get flowers that bring out a child’s imagination or curiosity.
Don’t just grow carrots with your kids. Try starting a veggie garden that grows fast so they can see things happening. We love growing varieties of tomatoes, especially the tiny tomatoes.
2. Make The Garden Fun Fast And Enjoyable
Even today, some 50 years after my first gardening experience I still love watching the things I plant sprout from the ground.
So be sure you start things that sprout quickly, like beans for example. We even start our beans indoors in water or damp paper towels. That comes from way back when I was still in grade one or two.
I find it tough waiting for seeds to sprout even today so just imagine how hard it is for a 5 year old.
We would start things from seed but we would also buy starter plants as well. This would show Stephen what he could expect from his seeds, eventually.
3. Go With Something Big
Try starting plants, from seed of course, indoor. We start here late March so that by the time we can plant things outside we have plants already started. One of the things I started growing from seed are sunflowers.
It started when a friend brought her daughter to my house. She had a plant in a pot they had started as a school project. The thing is they don’t have a yard to grow it in. So they brought it to me to plant in my yard so she would be able to come over and see it as it grew.
I liked it so much I started my own this year and have about 10 of them going. My plan this year is to save the seeds for next year and some for our fine feather yard friends.
4. If It’s Edible It’s Gotta Be Tasty
I mentioned at the start about my love of raspberries. I wonder what my memories or feeling for gardening would be if he had given me an onion to bite into?
Be sure to help your kids grow a garden with things that impress them, not so much yourself.
To this day, some 50 years later, I always think of my granddad when I eat the first raspberry each year. I have never tired of them or my childhood memory.
I have started a special garden just for raspberries now and I’m looking forward to those first raspberries, just like every year.
Be sure to grow things your kids love. I’m talking about flowers, fruits and vegetables. This is the time to get them loving raw vegetables and to cultivate a love of all things gardening. It will change their lives in ways they would never imagine.
Is A Groundhog Making Home Under Our Garage?
Honey, our Pit Bull, sure loves lying in the sun. A couple of days ago she walked over to me, made eye contact and then looked out the window. That’s her way of saying she’d like to go outside.
I put her out and she immediately headed to the sunniest spot in the driveway and laid down. I went back in. A minute or two later I heard a dog barking across the street and went to look out the door.
I saw a confused groundhog between the sidewalk and the bank across the street. Of course I grabbed my video camera and zoomed in. That’s Chuck in the picture above.
He looked around and then darted out into the street and onto our sidewalk. But then saw Honey and made a sharp right and was gone up the street toward Mountain Road.
I was in the house and the door was closed so I lost didn’t get video but I saw him make the turn and it was the funniest thing. If it had been a dirt drive there would have been a dust cloud.
Building A Compost Bin Using Mesh Wire
I do love having a compost bin. It’s so cool to be able to put our organic yard waste and kitchen waste as well into this bin and watch it turn into compost over time. It’s goes from our flower beds and vegetable garden to the compost bin and later back into the same place they came from. We even use it in our container gardens.
While I’ve had my feelers out for free palettes for a compost bin here in Moncton I thought about a video I watched where a guy had just used chicken fencing and a few stakes to make an inexpensive compost bin. He was trying to do an instructional video but had to keep entertaining his dogs. Maybe better planning for the next video.
Another video had these two doing everything but making the compost bin, wasted a lot of video time, so I kept looking because I wanted a video I could share on my home gardening blogs.
Well I then found a video where the had used mess wire so the holes were much smaller, don’t think small critters would get through those holes but the important ones like worms and micro organisms can.
It didn’t seem any harder to make than the chicken wire but it looked a whole lot sturdier. I think it is exactly what I want to try. With this idea I only need to find one palette I can take apart.