Looking for a family project to keep everyone engaged and entertained this summer? A family garden is the perfect spring and summer activity to get excited about all season long.🌻 It’s one of the easiest ways to get creative as a family, spend some time in the sun, and learn something new together. Ready to get started?
Here are 6 easy steps to starting a garden with your kids.
1. Pick Out Your Plants
Ask your children which fruits and vegetables they want to grow in their garden. Do they love snacking on cucumbers🥒? Are strawberries their favorite fruit🍓? Maybe they’re ready to try a new food like peppers or summer squash. If they’re not quite sure, show them pictures of a few different options, and let them decide what they want to plant.
🍅 Tomatoes, peppers, berries, beans, summer squash, and cucumbers are just a few of the plants that love to grow in the summer heat. Whether you’re in North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, or South Carolina, each of these plants is a great way to start! And, all of these plants grow well in raised beds or containers. So, choose the fruits and veggies your family loves to eat the most!
2. Make Space
- There’s no need to landscape a full patch of land in your backyard to start a family garden (unless you want to!). All you need is a raised bed or galvanized containers to get started.
- Choose a section of your yard dedicated to your little garden, or simply start an herb garden from your kitchen windowsill.🌿
- For quality root-growth, make sure your raised bed or container is at least 12 inches deep. Build your own or find one at your local garden shop.
3. Choose Your Method
🌱 You can start your garden from scratch with a few seed packets, or your family can purchase young plants that have already sprouted and plant them into your garden beds. Either way, you’ll need plenty of soil to fill your garden beds. Choose a quality potting mix for the best results.
4. Get Planting!
Set up your raised bed or container and fill the bed with soil. If you choose the seed planting route, have your kids plant the seeds into the soil with plenty of room to grow and flourish. Check the seed packets for details on spacing. If you choose to plant pre-sprouted plants, have your children carve out a hole in the soil for each plant. Make sure there is enough space for each plant’s roots. Once you’ve placed the seedling into the soil, fill any gaps with additional soil and tamp down gently.
- The seedlings should be planted at about the same depth they were growing in the pot, and all the roots should be covered.
Pro tip: Many plants thrive when planted next to other specific plants. Do a quick Google search on the plants you want in your garden to see which ones to put near each other.
5. Consistently Care for Your Plants
As you continue to care for your plants, make sure they are getting plenty of water at their roots so they can flourish, but not too much.💦
So, what’s the right amount of water? When the top inch or so of the soil is dry, water the soil so the roots can drink up. Show your child how to check if their garden needs to be watered. Just dip their finger into the soil to check if it’s dry or damp. Show them what to look for. If the soil is dry and doesn’t stick to their finger much, it’s time to water. Your child can water the garden with a watering can or a hose.
If the soil is not dry, it will stick to your child’s finger. Let them know you’ll have to wait another day or two to water it again. On hotter days when the sun is out, your plants will more than likely be thirsty.
Did you know? Plants build resilience in the wind! A slight breeze helps plants grow sturdy as they sprout.💨
6. Have Fun with it!
Keep your children engaged as you watch the seedlings grow. There are so many ways to keep them involved!
- Ask them to keep track of how long it takes for each fruit or vegetable to start sprouting.
- Have them check the beds each day to see if the soil needs water, and if so, have them water the plants.
- Ask your kids which plant they’re most excited for, or which one looks the prettiest to them. You’ll be surprised by how excited your kids will get over the project!✨
A family garden is fun for everyone! Plus, it’s a great way to be sustainable and save on groceries. Talk to your local garden shop for tips and tricks to keep your garden growing strong all season long!🌷