“You have the chance to plant a seed of something very special in the hearts, minds, and spirits of your children as you garden together.” - Cathy James, author of NutureStore.
How To Create Your Own At-Home Garden
When I was a little kid, my mom used to pay my siblings and I fifty cents per weed pulled in the garden. Even though the idea of pulling weeds in the hot summer sun wasn’t the most thrilling thought as an eight-year-old, the more time that I spent in the soil picking plump peppers straight from the plant turned into memories that I will never forget.
The benefits of having your child help with a garden go beyond simply just having fresh produce.
In fact, gardening can help the mind, body, and soul grow, too. If your child is a picky eater, allowing them to find a plant of their choice may help increase their desire to eat veggies. Although my brothers and I were pretty good eaters, there was just something so exciting and rewarding about being able to pick and eat your own food.
Additionally, it’s a great way to get your child off their screens and into the sunshine! If you’re running out of safe activities for your kiddos without having them stare at their screens all day, then this is an interactive way to get them outside and learn about nutrients.
Did you know that there is a bacteria in soil called mycobacterium vaccae that is actually known to boost serotonin levels? Touching and playing in the dirt can quite literally make you feel happier, along with spending time quality with your children!
While not everyone has the option to install a full-blown Martha Stewart garden in their home (perhaps you’re in an apartment or you don’t have a big enough yard), there are several amazing options to test your green thumb and get your kids involved in the great activities of gardening!
Here are three different gardening options that will leave your kids’ hearts and bellies full:
The first option is a windowsill herb garden! If you’re really limited in space, or just want fresh herbs to spice up your food, then this is a perfect option. Windowsill pots get a great amount of light and you can simply snip the herbs to add when you’re cooking. There are actually whole herb garden kits on Amazon that you can buy, as well.Windowsill Herb Garden:
- Select your pots of choice (if you want to get even more creative, have your kids paint their pots)
- Choose a window that gets sunlight
- Decide if you want to start from seeds or seedlings, then choose your herbs (such as rosemary, basil, mint)
- Gather your gardening items: soil, plants, and pots
- Plant your seeds, water, and watch them grow!
The next option is a raised garden bed. This is a bit more advanced than a herb garden, but it gives you more room to grow (pun intended) and is a great choice if you’re unable to break dirt in the ground. A raised garden bed can be put in your yard, patio, or wherever you have space. There are several ways to build the bed and this could be another fun project with the kids.Raised Garden Box:
- Choose the location of your raised garden bed (porch, backyard, patio)
- Decide the type of garden you want (salsa garden, herb garden, or any plants you desire)
- Gather the supplies needed
- Assemble box garden and plant the seeds or seedlings
- Water and watch it grow!
- Kids can also paint or decorate the box
The third option is the largest - a full-size garden right at home. Now, this may seem like a hefty task, but there are ways to do it without having to actually break ground. If you have room, you can make a full garden with wood planks, cinder blocks, and even gathered sticks! With this option, you have the ability to grow much more!Simple raised bed:
- Find a suitable location in your yard (preferably with lots of sunshine)
- Decide which plants will be going in your bed (for this size of garden you have more room to plant things such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc)
- Gather all materials needed (the material of the ‘box’ itself can get creative, like if you have cement blocks, sticks, or just wood)
- Assemble garden bed
- Put in selected plants
- Watch them grow every day!
Hopefully, these options leave you with a bit of inspiration to start your own collection of plants. Remember to water your plants and talk to them - yes, talk to them! It’s amazing how happy your plants, and children, will become!
I hope you enjoy planting with your kids as much as I did! For additional gardening benefits, click here. Happy gardening!