Good morning friends! Today on the blog I’ll be sharing with you some tips for gardening with kids. Growing up on a farm, I was out working in the fields even as a kid but now that I’m grown I enjoy having a small garden. My kiddos love nothing more than ‘helping’ my husband and I outside. Every spring my kids start asking when will we plant seeds. This year I decided to do a blog post about it and take a few photos along the way. It’s been really nice out the over the last few weeks and it’s been even nicer to get outdoors with the kids.
When gardening with kids, where do you start? I always suggest starting out slow, especially if you’re new to gardening. First, decide if you want to plant seeds and watch them grow (the kids always LOVE this) or if you’d rather skip the seeds and move right into planting seedlings or actual flowers from a local nursery.
Some Easy Plants and Seeds for Kids –
- Pretty flowers: wild flowers are always a fun and easy choice if you’re not picky.
- If wanting to purchase flowers marigolds and petunias are always a good choice and colorful.
- Plants you can eat such as peas, carrots, green onions or herbs.
Have fun with it! Take the kids with to help pick out seeds. I allowed my three kiddos to each pick out their own seed packets (with a little directions from me, of course). We ended up with pinto bean sprouts, peas and some basil seeds. Prior to purchasing, check the package details for each packet of seeds chosen. For example, do the plants grow better in full sun or in a nice shady area. It’s nice to be prepared.
Next, you’ll need some good soil. If you have good black dirt on your property I would skip buying potting soil. Our dirt is very sandy so I always like to buy a few fresh bags of potting soil every spring, just to have on hand.
*Tip: If you’re shopping Home Depot or Lowes for seeds and you see a bag of potting soil that is ripped, make sure you ask for a discount. Most times they will sell the bag at half-off to get rid of it!
After deciding on the types of plants you want to grow, choose some containers for your seedlings. There are tons of good options out there and you probably have several on hand in your home –
- clean, empty yogurt cups
- clean, empty k-cups
- old toilet paper rolls
- small plastic or paper cups
- you can also buy what I have in my above picture: small cardboard flats (about $2.50 for a set of 4)
Now that you have your seeds, potting soil and seedling containers, you are ready to get started! Pick a nice day where you can sit outside with the kids. They can help scoop the dirt, plant the seeds and water them. This was their favorite part and they wanted to do it all by themselves. I have a tendency to be a perfectionist but allowed them to get messy while planting. A little dirt never hurt anyone. Once the seeds are planted make sure you give them lots of sunlight and water. My kids enjoy their daily jobs of watering the plants and within a few weeks you will start to see results!
*Tip: Use wooden popsicle sticks to make homemade plant markers. The kids can use sharpies (waterproof) to label what each container is. Trust me. This is a great tip because once the seedlings start to grow it’s really hard to decipher which are which if they aren’t labeled.
Once the seedlings begin to grow you can carefully transplant them to a larger pot or garden. We have nice raised garden boxes that my handy husband built last year and they’ve gotten quite a bit of use so far! I’m excited to start planting a few more things since the weather is starting to warm up.
If you’re looking for some fun kids gardening accessories like the watering can and tools pictured above, those are available at Grandpa Shorter’s in-store. A friendly sales associate would love to help with your purchase over the phone (231-347-2603). If you’re looking for another resource on gardening with kids check out the site Kids Gardening.
Do you enjoy gardening with your kiddos or grandkids? Do you have any tips for us?