Teaching Children the Joys of Gardening

Teaching Children the Joys of Gardening

Kids love gardening; they get to watch things grow, and playing in the dirt is always fun.  Teaching children the joys of gardening isn’t just fun; it’s educational and a great way to spend time with the kids doing something constructive.  You don’t need a green thumb; enthusiasm counts, and as long as everyone is having fun that is all that matters.  Another perk is you get kids outside and away from computer screens.

Start with Sprouting Some Seeds

You don’t have to wait until spring to get started you can start off sprouting some seeds in the kitchen.  You can grab a couple of packets of seeds from your local garden center since these are going to be handled by your children then grab some organic seeds.  Organic seeds haven’t been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

You want to help your child, depending on their age, to moisten a couple of pieces of paper towels and put them on the counter.  You want to add a couple of seeds to each paper towel set some more moistened paper towels on top and put them somewhere warm to sprout.  You and your child can check on the seeds every day and make sure that the paper towels stay moist.  Small kids love to watch the seeds sprout new leaves.

Growing Outside

When spring and summer come around, then you may want to try gardening outside, where you can really play in the dirt.  You will want to section off a small spot for the kids to have their very own plot.  You want them to be able to handle the plot they are given to choose a suitable size.  Start with some easy to grow hearty plants that aren’t delicate.  You may start with peppers, cucumbers or some cherry tomatoes.  You can start with the seeds that you sprouted in the house or plant new seeds.

You will have to bring the kids outside throughout the growing season so that they can take care of watering and pulling weeds out.  Again they are going to love playing in the dirt.  You will also be very careful to teach them the difference between their plants and the weeds that need to be pulled out.  You will be pleasantly surprised at just how much your kids will enjoy playing in the garden and watching their plants grow.  You never know you might even convince them to eat a vegetable they grew themselves.

Organic Gardening in Containers

Organic Gardening in Containers

If you enjoy gardening, but you live in an apartment or have limited space, then organic gardening in containers may satisfy your green thumb.  You can do this type of gardening almost anywhere, and it is a whole lot easier to maintain than an entire backyard garden.  Let’s take a look at how you can get started.

Start with the Soil

If you want to grow your flowers, plant, or vegetable organically, then you are going to need to start with the soil. Head to your local garden center and grab organic soils or you can take regular soil and add organic materials, so there are more nutrients available for your plants.  Because you’re working with containers, you are going to have to watch the moisture levels so adding peat moss to your soil along with compost will help you have the perfect mixture.

Getting Some Containers

You can use almost anything for a container as long as it is capable of holding soil and water.  You can get decorative pots that will make your garden look fabulous.  You can use clay or some other natural materials, or you can upcycle and re-purpose some plastic containers for your garden.  If you’re not using clay pots, make sure that you have holes in the bottom so the soil can drain and you may want to throw in a bit of gravel to help.  Make sure that your container is the right size for what you are trying to grow.  Herbs only need small pots, flowers, and plants need something bigger.

Planting

Container gardening isn’t that much different from growing plants and vegetables outside, but again make sure that you have the right size container.  Zucchini won’t grow successfully in a container meant for herbs.  You will still want to head to the garden center and grab some organic seeds.  One of the perks of gardening in containers is that you won’t have to deal with pests as you do in the garden.  It is also far easier to deal with them if you do.  You can still have to deal with ladybugs or other insects if you keep your containers outside.

Your container plants are still going to need adequate sunlight and moisture. You do have the advantage of being able to move your containers in and out of direct sunlight as needed and you are in control of the water.  On top of that, you can grow all year long, no waiting for the spring and warmer weather.

 

 

Maximizing Your Small Garden Space

Maximizing Your Small Garden Space

City living often means that you don’t have a great deal of space to work with when it comes to your garden.  Front and backyards are smaller, so you have to get creative when it comes to maximizing your small garden space.  Simple is best when it comes to small gardens, keeping the variety of plants and colors down to just a couple of choices will help you create a comfortable space.

Use Vertical Space

Not everything needs to be planted in perfectly aligned rows on the bed of the garden.  Take advantage of the other spaces in your garden and hang pots from window ledges or along your fencing.  Plant some climbing plants along your fence to add texture and color to a bland beige fence.  Layer your plants, so you have taller ones as well as shorter ones.  You can also use shrubs or trees to add height.  Focal points like a trellis, fountain, or add a wrought iron stake with a hanging pot full of colorful flowers.  Here are some more ideas on how to use vertical space.

Stop Using Straight Lines

My friend from Grapevine Tree Professionals is in the Tree Service business, Tree Removal and Tree Trimming are his specialties. Working with many Homeowners, he gave me some really great insight. Homeowners often keep everything in a small garden in a straight line; they plant along borders or walkways.  It does make some sense as it allows you to add flowers and color to your garden to leave space for furniture and entertaining.  However, this doesn’t have to be the case; using curved lines makes the area more informal and inviting.  Done right, you can also make your garden look larger than it is.  Here are some tips on how to do that.

Using curves instead of sharp angles allow for your eye to flow and it fools your brain into thinking space is bigger.  Use the right style of furniture that complements the garden; don’t make it too big for a small space.  Place outdoor lights strategically; it can make your garden look stunning at night. You can sit out in the evenings and admire your garden.

Having a beautiful backyard in the city can be a bit of a challenge, but getting creative with how you arrange your plants and shrubs can make a huge difference in how your space looks.  Create focal points, use objects that have a dual function, and choose your plants wisely.  Check with your local garden center the staff are always incredibly knowledgeable and can help you put together the perfect space you will love.

Getting Started with Gardening

Getting Started with Gardening

You finally have the space to plant a garden, but you really aren’t sure where to begin.  Don’t worry, we have got you covered; we can help you figure out what tools you are going to need along with choosing the best plants for a lush and beautiful looking garden.  Getting started with gardening isn’t as difficult as you might think, let us show you how.

Join a Gardening Group

Check with your local nursery or garden center to see if there are any local gardening classes or gardening groups that you can join to learn more.  You may also want to check with the local MeetUp groups; many have walking tours of local gardens or get-togethers where you can meet more experienced gardeners.  If your community has a public garden, then go check out the types of plants and flowers that they are using.

Get Your Gear Ready

There are some essential tools and supplies that you are going to need no matter whether you decide to grow plants, flowers, or vegetables, so you are going to want to get those.  Most you can pick up at a local hardware store or garden supply center. Necessary tools are going to include some trowel for digging holes, a hose with a spray attachment to water the garden and a good pair of gardening gloves.  As you get more experienced, you will add to your collection of gardening tools.

Deciding Where and What to Plant

Now you’re going to have to take a look at the area you have to work with and figure out what and where to plant.  You need to know how much sunlight your garden gets throughout the day.  Some plants thrive under the direct sun all day while others need more shade.  Most plants are going to need roughly 6 hours or so of direct sunlight daily while others differ.  You can combine take advantage of pots or containers that you can move in and out of the sun.  Do you have direct access to water, if not, do you have a long enough hose to water your garden?

You are also going to need to make sure that you have a good fertile soil to plant in.  This is another trip to the garden center to grab some topsoil and compost so that your plants and flowers have rich nutrients to grow healthy and vibrant.  Start your garden off small as you get more experience, you can experiment with different plants and flowers.