3 Tips for Gardening with Children

children in garden, organic gardener, lowcountry garden, fairy garden

Lessons from the Garden

Children motivate many gardeners to create their own backyard vegetable garden.

In fact, Rita’s Roots gardens with so many children each season that we are essentially the Violin Lessons of the Plant World!

From eating fresh spinach (tastes far better than the grocery) to fostering a habitat for butterflies to sharing the bounty with neighbors . . . a garden provides so many lessons.

If you grow it, they will eat it

We see it happen regularly. Seeing children eat the plants they have helped grow brings great joy. Plus it’s healthier.

Children as young as 2 or 3 can understand the seasonality of foods and enjoy the buffet a garden provides. The earlier you can start them the better.

Rita started with her daughter as soon as she was old enough to eat solids.

“I would hand her fronds, leaves, fruits, flowers and stalks to nibble while we worked in the garden,” she said. “There was a time when she HAD to have a stalk of celery to-go in the morning.”

Not sure where to start?

Try these 3 tips for making gardening enjoyable for you AND your child.

Enticing Eats

  • Food tastes better when there is a connection to the patience and the process of planting, tending, weeding, watching, plucking and washing. After waiting so long for the plant to be edible, who wouldn’t want to take a bite?
  • To ensure your success, try food that can be eaten right off the plant, such as beans, sugar snap peas, blackberries and cherry tomatoes.

Fennel

Attracting Butterflies

  • We like to grow fennel year round to attract the Swallowtail caterpillars.
  • Butterflies also love Feverfew,  Zinnia, Rudbeckia, Basil and Gomphrena.

Fairy Gardens

  • Another way to encourage your child to garden alongside you is to create a fairy garden.
  • Provide them with a space that is all their own and a few supplies to get started.
  • Fairies and gnomes are widely available at craft stores, but you can also supply recycled objects around your house. This will encourage their creativity and imagination too.
  • An empty spice bottle becomes a fairy stool. A few twigs tied together become a fairy house. Small rocks or leaves could form a driveway.

fairy garden, organic gardener, lowcountry garden

Take the Guesswork out of Gardening

Gardening for the first time — or the first time in the Lowcountry — can be daunting. So many new things to learn at once cause frustration.

If you’re frustrated, the little hands and many questions of a child can be a challenge.

We can fast-track your learning and take the guesswork out of gardening.

There are four ways we can support you.

  1. Garden Guidance~ A Garden Expert works one-on-one with you in your garden to keep you on the planting calendar and to teach you all aspects of raising homegrown organic vegetables, flowers and herbs.
  2. Garden Maintenance ~ Want fresh vegetables and a beautiful garden, but can’t find the time to tend? We offer the same high-quality service and care as Garden Guidance all while you are out.
  3. Garden Growers Club ~ Our online annual membership community takes you through the seasons of gardening in the Lowcountry by providing how-to videos, garden tasks checklists and a private Facebook Group for support.
  4. Plant Classes ~ For the beginner or the advanced gardener, we offer classes on organic planting, harvesting and garden planning most Saturdays in the Spring at our downtown Container Garten.

 

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