It is a well-established fact that gardening is beneficial for both the mind and soul. Gardeners tend to live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life. There are a variety of suggestions as to why, from the beneficial microbes in soil to being “earthed” more often. Whatever the reason, gardeners have it good.
It makes sense to get children interested in gardening at a young age. If you’ll excuse the dreadful pun: if you do it right, you can sow the seeds for a lifetime of hands-in-earth bliss. Young children are inquisitive by nature and love to learn. Gardening allows them to put the work in, and then enjoy the fruits of their labours – literally!
Choose Plants and Trees With Rewards
If you want to encourage the young gardener, always pick something with an obvious reward. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent place to start. Salad greens and tomatoes are easy to grow, and can be grown in containers if you don’t have much space. You can start introducing the idea to kids by growing these items from seed. They can see the entire process that way, from tiny green seedlings to eating sweet tomatoes for lunch.
Trees are a great way to keep things interesting year in year out, with nothing needed but maintenance. Sweet fruits like plums and apples are ideal and easily located. You can buy fruit trees online in varying stages of growth and encourage children to help choose ideal locations.
If you don’t have the ideal conditions for growing edible foods, go for something beauty and spectacular. Lupins are stunning flowers that grow with ease. You want something with a short growing cycle, so no one becomes disinterested waiting a month for an inch of growth.
Little hands may struggle with conventional gardening equipment. To keep everyone comfortable and able to do their bit, invest in some tools designed for children. These are inexpensive. You don’t need to buy a small-sized version of everything, but a hand trowel, fork, and gardening gloves are a good place to start.
Weeds, Weeds Go Away
You can teach a great lesson about maintenance with gardening. Show the “bad” plants, such as weeds; that might damage the life cycle of the things you want to thrive. Teach how to remove them. You can then continue the learning experience by teaching about composting, using the pulled weeds as food for future growth.
If you’re going to have kids working outdoors in summer, they’re going to need to be covered up. Children’s skin is especially sensitive, and any burn sustained can put them off going outside. Invest in good-quality sunscreen, sure, but the best choice is to completely cover skin. Loose-fitting cotton clothes and a hat are essential. You don’t need to spend a fortune; designate these clothes for gardening and accept they might get muddy. If your garden is particularly exposed, it’s worth considering a gazebo to provide some shade on the hottest days. And it’s not just the plants that will need watering- make sure everyone is drinking plenty of fluids too!