I enjoy gardening. It’s a way to save money, provides fresh organic vegetables, gets me outdoors, and gives me time to think as I work with my hands.
It is hard work, but something about it energizes me. It’s more than a hobby; it’s a skill, and one I want to pass on to my kids.
At first they enjoyed it. Planting seeds and seedlings was fun, but when the newness wore off, they acted like I was asking them to clean their closet when I wanted them to join me in the garden.Â
The following year, I decided to take a different approach. Gardening for kids needs to interest them.
I had asked them to come into my garden. I needed a plan to make the garden as much theirs as it was mine.
I bought some gardening tools for kids ages 4-10 and that helped. These kid-size tools were less awkward and easier to use, and they were their tools. It offered a measure of ownership in the garden.
I also let each of the kids choose something they wanted to grow. It had to be something we hadn’t grown before.
It became a little competitive as they tried to find something “weird” and different, and we ended up with a couple of okra and Brussels sprouts plants.
One was a warm weather plant and the other was a cool weather plant. Understanding those kinds of things is part of the process.Â
Learning to mulch really cut down on the weeding, which is not fun for anyone, and eliminated it for the most part.
Having plants they chose to grow made a difference. It became a garden for the kids, instead of just another chore.
It worked well enough that I’ve done the same thing with my flower garden. This year we’ll be adding a hummingbird vine, and we’re in the process of deciding which additional red flowers we want to plant to help attract the little birds.Â