I was sent a Herstera Urban Garden Kids courtesy of Eartheasy to review. However, all opinions are my own.
This can alternatively be titled, Tips for Gardening with Kids with a Mom Who Kills Cactus. Logan, my 4 year old, helps maintain a garden at school and has been asking for his own little garden at home. I wasn’t blessed with a green thumb, so I was hesitant, but ended up diving right in and it has been such a great experience for us both. AND our garden is still alive and well! I thought I’d pass on a few tips to my fellow non-green thumb mamas who might also be interested in gardening with their kiddos. Eartheasy also has some great tips for gardening with children.
Tip 1: Start small. Gardening can quickly become overwhelming, but don’t let it intimidate you. We love, love, love our raised Herstera Urban Garden Kids Planter from Eartheasy! It is built at the perfect height for children, small enough that they can take over most of the maintenance and big enough that they can grow some of their favorite vegetables and herbs.
Tip 2: Grow easy to maintain plants. Do a quick google search or ask a veteran gardener what plants grow easiest in your area and stick to those. Also be aware that many planters can only accommodate shallow-rooted varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Perfect for a salad garden. When making our selections, after learning what grew well in the desert and in our planter, we picked things that we eat on a regular basis. Kale and spinach were a must. We also added in mint and a tomato plant. We also added strawberries to a nearby strawberry pot, on the insistence of my 4 year old.
Tip 3: Allow your child to participate from start to finish. It was important to me that Logan take ownership over his garden because he was going to be the one responsible for the majority of the work. From picking out the plants at our local nursery to planting them, he did it all with minimal help. Kid-sized gardening tools are a must. Most days he’s excited to water his plants. On the days that he groans about his new chore, I remind him that his plants will die and all of his hard work will go to waste and that usually gets him moving.
Tip 4: Set a watering schedule and routine. If you are forgetful about watering, like me, I recommend setting your phone alarm. I have a designated watering can by the hose outside and have shown my kiddo how much water his garden needs. I send him outside to water his plants every morning and he can usually do it all by himself.
Tip 5: Celebrate their harvest! Celebrate every harvest your child’s garden produces! Logan sings a version of the Johnny Appleseed song before he eats lunch at school and I’m planning on carrying that tradition on at home before meals. I think that gardening and knowing where your food comes from, produces a healthy relationship with food. It also teaches responsibility and gives children something to be proud of.
Oh, the earth is good to me.
And so I thank the earth,
For giving me the things I need:
The sun and the rain and the apple seed;
The earth is good to me.