Gardening’s Not Just for Grown-Ups

Donna Fossum

From grandchildren to nieces to nephews, we all have children in our lives. And most children like to play in the dirt. Fall is the perfect time of year to take advantage of their love for getting dirty and cultivate a new crop of gardeners.

Whether you’re planting a vegetable garden or just replacing plants that didn’t survive the summer, gardening teaches children valuable lessons in caring for the world around them. Plus, it gives them permission to play in the dirt!

Here are a few tips to get children started:

  • Offer several seed and seedling options. Letting children choose what will grow in their garden allows them to be involved in the entire growing process.
  • Sow seeds that germinate and sprout quickly. Children have less patience than adults when it comes to growing things.
  • Consider their wants. Does your child like fresh cut flowers? Vegetables? Both?
  • Make gardening chores fun. Challenge children to find the pests in the garden or turn weeding into a game.
  • Praise their hard work. Take photos of the garden at various stages and show them off to family and friends. Giving special attention to the child’s garden is a great motivator.

Teaching children about gardening not only encourages environmental responsibility but also sparks a lifelong interest they can pass on to the next generation.

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