Tips for Gardening with Children

If you have a child in your life who’s interested in growing plants, make a space in the garden for him or her to explore the wonder of helping things grow. Instill a sense of ownership by providing a child-size watering can and tools, and place a sign with the child’s name in the plot.And don’t be too exacting-to a child, the thrill is in the process, not in producing something perfect.

Keep them Interested

An easy to implement backyard landscaping idea that will keep them interested- is to sow quick-sprouting plants, such as lettuce, radishes, nasturtiums, and marigolds. Take them to a garden center and let them choose a few easy bedding plants, such as petunias, to add instant colour to their garden.

Blue Potatoes?

Plant varieties that bear unusually coloured or shaped fruits-blue potatoes, purple broccoli, speckled bush beans, or rounded yellow cucumbers.

A Tunnel of Flowering Climbers

A tunnel of flowering climbers becomes a playhouse for children. Anchor wire hoops in the ground and plant an easy-to-grow climber, such as morning glory or scarlet runner bean.

Watch it Grow

Scratch the child’s name or a silly face lightly into a young pumpkin growing on a vine.Over time, the drawing will grow and take shape.Or plant your child’s initials in the soil with garden greens; red or green leaf lettuce or radishes work nicely.

Make Mint Tea

Plant easy-to-grow mint.When it’s ready, whip up a batch of solar mint tea with your child by filling a 2-quart (2-liter) glass jar with water and a handful of mint leaves.Cover the jar with foil and let it sit in a sunny spot for 2 or 3 hours.Then pour into glasses, add ice and a dollop of honey, and have a tea party.

Make a Sneaker Planter

Make a sneaker planter. Stimulate a budding gardener’s imagination by using an old sneaker as a planter.Help your child poke a couple of holes in the shoe and fill it partly with soil. Plant little rosettes of hens-and-chicks in the holes, firming the soil with your fingers.Add soil to the shoe’s top opening and plant more rosettes there.Then nestle the sneaker into the soil amid some flowers or herbs.

Create a Secret Room

Create a secret room. Mark a square in the soil and plant sunflowers on the outline to make a private garden “room” for children. Be sure to leave a little space for the door.

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