By: Jennifer Murray

Starting a Garden with Kids

how to garden with kids

‘Tis the season!  Spring is “sprunging” (it changes its mind from time to time) and it’s time to start planning for our little backyard garden.  This will be our fourth year to garden!  So crazy to look back on the first year that we built the raised bed with our boys! I thought this might be the year that our boys “grow” out of being excited about gardening, but you should have heard their enthusiasm after finding the seeds that I had purchased on the counter top. 

“Seeeeeeeeds!”  “Can we plant them today?”  “Sweet corn?  I LOVE sweet corn and cucumbers!”  {Let’s hope the enthusiasm continues when it’s time to eat the vegetables!}

My top tips for gardening with kids?

1. Let them help pick out some of the vegetables will go in your garden.  It’s a great way to try out new vegetables, and give them ownership in the process. 

2. Let them get dirty.  Some of our best toy purchases have been the little plastic shovels and rakes from the dollar store.  Before everything is planted, let them rake the soil, dig holes, help put the seeds in the small hole with supervision – it’s all part of the fun!

3. Let them try the vegetables raw.  My boys wouldn’t touch cooked peas, but peas right off the vine are like an entirely different vegetable!  They love snacking on them in the backyard.

4. Make watering the garden a fun summertime activity. I don’t know how many times we’ve went to water the garden and it’s turned into someone getting sprayed by the hose! 

5. Let them be part of the harvesting process.  The sense of accomplishment from growing your own food from seed to plant is worth celebrating!  Show them how to carefully pull green beans off the bush, or pinch off strawberries, or pick a tomato off the vine.

From our experience, they are more likely to EAT what you’ve grown if they’ve been part of the entire process. I frequently get questions about our garden from readers who are starting a garden of their own, so I thought I would link these past posts from our gardening adventures.

Any other questions I can help with as you grow a garden with your kids?

2 Responses to “Starting a Garden with Kids”

  1. Crystal
    April 12, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Jack seriously loves to help me out with our garden. We had 9 (9!) tomato plants last year….and we still didn’t have enough left over to can. :-) That kid will eat any veggie you put in front of him, no questions asked. Jude, on the other hand, hasn’t eaten a vegetable since baby food…
    Crystal recently posted.. Mercy House Musings — and a Giveaway!

  2. Capri + 3--Theresa
    April 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I love gardening and can’t wait to involve our little ones. Thanks for the tips! I look forward to using them.
    Capri + 3–Theresa recently posted.. Artsy Play Wednesday–Homemade GAK

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