7 Steps to Creating an Organic Garden with Your Children this Spring

Gardening is a fantastic activity that everyone in your family will enjoy, regardless of age. It is the perfect way to spend several days a week working together outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Gardening is also great for instilling a sense of responsibility, cooperative learning and excitement in your child. Not to mention, when all is said and done, you are left with a beautiful bounty of fresh, organic foods that your family grew together – and will consume together. Read on to learn how to create an organic garden with your children this spring, you will reap the rewards all year long.

#1: Garden by Design
The first step to creating an organic garden with your child is to design the garden. You and your child will need to discuss which types of plants you will have in your garden and what type of garden you want to cultivate. You will want to take into account where in your yard is the best place to have a garden and what ways you will deter critters from eating all of your goodies. Then, you must figure out where to plant each of those plants within the garden so they have enough room to grow (if you live in small space, a container garden is a great idea), and receive the correct amounts of water and sunshine.

#2: Prepare the Garden
After you have created a design for your garden, it’s time to prepare the space for new life. It is a good idea to measure the space to make sure that it will be large enough for your goodies to grow. Remember goodies such as pumpkins, zucchinis and cucumbers will need a lot of room to grow. Then, you will want to make a border of some sort – in the past we have used reclaimed decking to make a raised garden bed. Next, grab a wheelbarrow and fill your garden beds with a good mix of high quality topsoil and organic compost. Children will love to help fill the wheelbarrow and then dump the dirt into the garden beds. Once you have filled the beds and leveled the tops, you are ready to begin planting.

#3: Get Planting
Now comes the fun part – children love to get their hands dirty, so planting the garden will delight them. You can provide them with handheld shovels, rakes, and hoes to assist in their gardening. Next, it is time to start planting your seeds. Great seed picks for children include; organic carrots, cucumbers, peppers, peas, melons, pumpkins, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce and berries. Children especially love plants such as melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers because they can see the vegetables growth every day. However, there is a lot of fun in pulling carrots right out of the ground or eating berries straight from the patch. Just don’t forget to label the different goodies in the garden, so your child will know exactly what is growing.

#4: Maintain the Garden
Children love to help maintain the garden – they can help with the watering of the plants, weeding, organic fertilizing and recording the growth of all of their goodies. A fun way to record the growth of your garden is to allow your child to take photographs of it’s progress and encourage them to record how much each of the plants in the garden has grown throughout the season.

#5: Learn as the Garden Grows
Gardening teaches children much more than simply how to grow their own food. Gardening also teaches children the importance of working with others, proper nutrition, responsibility, life cycles, life skills,  and can have a wonderful impact on their mental health and well-being. Not to mention, it is a perfect way to spend warm spring mornings together with your children. Oh yes, and they will also learn about bugs and insects – which delight most children!

#6: It’s Harvest Time!
When it comes time to harvest the goodies from your garden, give your child a large basket to collect the bounty in. Allow your child to pick each of the goodies directly from the plant or pull each carrot from the soil. There is something very satisfying about picking a fresh piece of produce from the earth. Then, prepare a space inside or outside where your child can clean each fruit before storing it, until you use it.

#7: Share the Bounty
A wonderful way to turn gardening into a social activity is by sharing the bounty with others. If you have more cucumbers then your family can consume, consider sharing them with family, friends and neighbors. If you have an insane bounty of zucchini, consider baking zucchini bread with your children and then delivering the goodies to someone you love. And if you have a lot of extra vegetables, consider inviting friends and family over for a lovely dinner that you prepare with your child.

Do you organic garden with your children?
What are your favorite tips for gardening with the kiddos?

photo via Pink Sherbet Photography

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