Crafty How To: Fall Family Garden

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Like most children, my girls love to be outside. They are constantly looking for things to dig, pick and plant. We spend most evenings in the backyard, watering potted flowers and plucking stray weeds in the beds. My mom has a garden and the girls love to help her harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, and chili peppers. 

So one day, my husband decided to give up a piece of his lawn to build our girls their own little garden. It didn’t take much space, or much money. Just a wooden box, filled with soil that was settled in a sunny spot. 

I have admitted many times that I don’t have a green thumb, but I think my girls’ enthusiasm makes up for that. We took a trip to Lowes and picked out three seed packets. I wanted to grow things that were interesting to the girls. We didn’t do much research beforehand, but the seed packets have all the details on when to plant, where, and how.

What to Plant, When to Plant   

If you don't want to wait til Spring, no problem. Autumn harvests set the mood for working in the soil. And there are lots of seeds to plant in the fall. Talk to your local garden center and find plants that are cold tolerant. Or try planting bulbs and such- things that take time to germinate and need some time in the cold ground to get going. 

We came home with sunflowers, carrots and cucumbers. Veggies that we eat and the sunflowers- well those are pretty and they grow fast!

Craft Some Garden Markers 

The girls planted the seeds in rows. We painted some river rocks to make our garden markers. Acrylic Paints, paint pens, and a coat of Mod Podge to seal the designs. 
Maisy supplied a ‘happy face’ for our garden, because plants need to be happy. 
With plenty of watering, sunshine, and our warm Texas weather, we had sprouts within a week. Since then we have been tending the garden. The girls look for weeds, have helped thin out the carrots, and they are good at remembering to water the garden on a daily basis. 

 Dirty Hands are Happy Hands 

Gardening with kids is a great activity in our fast-paced, technology based society. Gardens are slow, dirty, and quiet. They teach our kids to be patient, that it is okay to get dirty, and that real food grows in the ground. Thinking of starting a garden in your yard? Here are a few tips to help your ‘littlest green thumbs’ get going.

1. Kids’ Gardens belong to the kids. Demonstrate and instruct, but ultimately let the kids do the work. When the garden belongs to the kids, they take pride in its success. 
2. Dirt don’t hurt. Clothes and kids can be washed. Get over any fears about messing up outifits or dirt under the nails. It all comes out in the wash.

3. Bugs Rock! Well, I don’t particularly like roly-poly bugs or earthworms, but you can bet I put on a huge smile when my girls hold one. ‘Creepy Crawly’ fear is generally taught, so don’t make your kids afraid. Instead focus on what each bug contributes to the garden and learn to see the wonder in the critters that live outside. 

4. Grow something yummy. Want your kid to eat more veggies? Then let them grow their own. Most kids don’t get enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Help your child learn to like more of the ‘green stuff’ by planting it. Kids are more likely to eat something they have grown themselves.

5. Function vs. Aesthetics. The garden doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. The point of the garden is to get your kids outside and experiencing science hands-on. Their version of beauty is different from ours. Let go of any expectations and look at the garden from your child’s eyes. 

6. Have fun. Maybe the garden will produce a bounty big enough to share with others. Maybe it will struggle. But encourage your child. The garden is great way to build responsibility, self-esteem, and the ability to nurture. All while getting a little dirty along the way! 

Do you have a family garden? What would you like to grow?   

Sharing our family garden here:  Too Much Time on My Hands, Home Stories A to Z , Tatertots and Jello, The 36th AvenueSerenity Now, Be Different Act Normal

1 comment:

  1. Great garden! The girls are so cute and I love those rocks! We will have to make those!


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