Backyard or community gardens provide a great way to connect with kids and an even better incentive for the entire family to eat and share healthy, home-grown produce. Follow these simple tips to make your child’s garden a fun experience for everyone:
- Give them space
Dedicate a small portion of the family garden or an entirely separate space for your child’s. Let the child decorate his or her part of the garden with outdoor art, such as pin wheels or painted rocks.
- Raise them up
Use buckets or wooden boxes to define your kids planting zone.
- Start early
Get your kids thinking about what they would like to grow long before planting season arrives. Carrots, tomatoes and snow peas are good choices for crops that thrive in Michigan-based gardens.
- Seed ideas, but let them pick and plot
Let the kids choose seeds for what they’ll plant. Help them determine how much space they need to allow for their chosen plants to grow. Decide on a weeding, watering and fertilizing schedule.
- Equip them properly
Buy kid-sized gloves and tools. They are available at many dollar stores and can make the gardening experience more enjoyable for everyone.
- Let them help
Kids learn by watching you, so split the big jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks for them. If you are planting tomatoes, you might have them scoop compost or dig a hole for planting the tomato seedling or starter plant.
Basic rule: With young gardeners, it’s best to keep things simple and fun.