Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Planting a Family Garden

Now is the best time of year to go outside and let your child get back in touch with nature. One of the most delightful ways we can think of, is to plant a garden. Some parents might hesitate to take on the responsibility of a garden, whiles others may think they don't have a green thumb, but here a few things to consider:

* You don't need to have a large garden...just start with a small plot and a few plants. What may seem small to you might seem a lot bigger to a child!
* If you don't want to dig up a portion of your lawn, consider container gardening. Although you must water your plants regularly, they will get fewer weeds in containers, look beautiful, and can be moved around if desired.
* Planting a garden gives your child the opportunity to get fresh air and exercise. It is a fabulous way to spend quality time with your child, is a great learning opportunity, and encourages environmental awareness.  

*By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you are providing healthy food for your family. Picky eaters might even be willing to taste food they've grown themselves!

Don't forget to keep your child involved in the process. Visit your local garden center together to select flowers, fruit and vegetable plants; or some of each. Also consider borrowing seeds from the Library's Seed Lending Library.  Some easy-to-grow options include: 
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Peas
Once the plants are in containers or the ground, give your child the responsibility of caring for them by having them weed and water regularly. Your child will have a sense of pride and accomplishment as they watch their plants grow! And don't forget to stop into your library to get a book to help you along the way.  Here are a few great choices to get you started:
  • How to Grow Perennial Vegetables by Martin Crawford 
  • Flower Gardening by Julie Bawden-Davis
  • Gardening With Children by Beth Richardson 
  • Month by Month Gardening in New York by Andre Viette
  • Natural Gardening in Small Spaces by Noel Kingsbury
  • Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy  
  • Fine Gardening Magazine  
  • Organic Gardening Magazine 
You may place a hold on these titles, or look for additional books on this topic by clicking here. You may get additional ideas by using our Pinterest boards.

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