Gardening With Children

I often heard stories from people about their gardening experience when they were children.  Usually the story has something to do with the person being forced to pull mountains of weeds. The quickest way for kids to lose their interest in gardening is to force them to do laborious and monotonous tasks, like weeding. When asked which garden task we would rather not do most of us would probably say weeding. It's also probably why all those chemical weed killers are so popular. My oldest daughter at 2.5 yrs. I don't force my children to do gardening activities, but often they will join in with me on their own.  Not to weed of course! If I'm planting seeds I always get a "daddy can I help?" from one of the kids. The other day I was potting plants to make them ready for the farmer's market I attend when one…

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Building A Children’s Patio

It's important for kids to have a place to play outdoors.  My kids are outside with me all the time but they don't always want to garden so to help them have a safe place to play and explore I put together this children's patio and mini-garden for Lowe's Creative Ideas.  It's a simple project that can easily be accomplished in one afternoon. Here's what I used to make the Children's Patio:  4x4's - 3 8 ft. long and 2 10 ft. long 6 brackets to hold the 4x4's together Sand - the amount will vary according to how high you want the patio to be and what kind of soil grade you are trying to level. Landscape fabric Deck screws (I used 1 5/8") Rubber patio tiles made from recycled material. The design is very simple.  I attached the 4 sides together using the brackets and made a large…

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5 Ways to Have a Child Friendly Garden

We have three children in our household who love to be outdoors.  It's extremely hard for this gardener to sneak outside without someone tagging along.  That's a good thing! I'm thrilled that they love to be outside in the open air experiencing what all kids should have the opportunity to experience.  It's important though that the garden be a safe place for kids to experience the outdoors.  Gardeners with children should take note of a few easy things that they can do to make their garden safe and enjoyable for their children! 5 Ways to Have a Child Friendly Garden Ditch the synthetic pesticides and herbicides!   Synthetic pesticides and herbicides aren't good for children to be around. The threat of an accidental poisoning is always present when you use these chemicals.  Look for organic options that are not as dangerous.  Vinegar as a herbicide may not be as effective…

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My Kids are Weird, and I’m Proud

My daughters from 2009 - Ages 2 and 4 My kids are kind of strange.  Of course I know what you're thinking, all kids are a little weird.  They have their quirks, their unique traits that will eventually turn them in to unique adults. That's not the kind of weird I'm talking about.  While visiting family over the Christmas season we were up at their grandparents house.  After opening presents dinner commenced.  Everyone filled their plates with main courses and sides but not my two girls. What did they go for?  The vegetables!  They filled their plates with raw vegetables like broccoli, cucumbers, olives, and carrots. Their granddaddy commented on how he never would have eaten like that when he was a kid, but this isn't an unusual thing around here.  My kids love having grapefruit or oranges in the morning.  The oldest isn't keen on bananas but the younger…

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Spring is Progressing Around the Garden

It's been warm here in TN.  Very warm. So warm that everything thinks it is indeed spring - including this gardener!  Essentially it is spring.  The weather is identical to a typical March, warm days, heavy rain showers coming through.  We've even had thunderstorms - in January.  It's been a strange month.  But just because it feels like spring, looks like spring, and smells like spring doesn't mean it IS spring.  We need to keep that idea in our heads a while longer.  Spring is coming, it's not here yet; frosts can and probably will come before our safe planting date. But no matter what logic I use to temper my planting enthusiasm that logic fails to sway the plants back into dormancy.  Buds are swelling on the fruit trees which tells me I'm going to have to protect those blossoms from cold if I want peaches and plums this…

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3 Reasons Why Kids Should Grow Up Around a Garden

As you might imagine much of our time is spent in the garden. The kids are outdoors as much as possible (when the weather is cooperative).  I don't think just being outdoors is enough, being in the garden is where children should be and here's why: Gardening gets kids active physically. One big issue facing our country is childhood obesity and getting the kids active in the garden is one great way to get kids moving. The other day I spent an hour pulling weeds and I felt like I had just been to the gym!  Kids can pull weeds, dig holes for plants, move mulch around with child size wheelbarrows, and all kinds of other activities. Gardening exposes children to the process of growing food, good healthy food. Not the mass produced heavily sprayed crops from the grocery store. Seeing how the food is grown builds an understanding of…

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Parenting, Gardening, and Time…

I'm finding that this year has by far been the most challenging year for the garden. At least so far. It's not just because of the sweltering heat that is sitting on us like some big ole bear on a circus ball. And it's not just the complete lack of rain over the last couple week (wait I did feel about 5-6 drops the other day - no exaggeration here - only 5-6 drops). What has really made this year a challenge so far is time. Time is the one factor in everything that is beyond our control. We can manipulate how we spend our time but no matter what we do time still goes, it travels, and it travels fast! It seems like overnight my oldest daughter finished kindergarten. School was a challenge - not for her she breezed through - but for me. For those who have followed…

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Friday Garden Photo Free For All!

Yesterday I spent some time out in the garden with my 3 year old daughter. We dug, we raked, we planted, we played with worms, simply put ... we gardened! Here are just a few photos from our time outdoors in the beautiful weather and in the garden. (Oh and just so you know "free for all" doesn't mean you can steal this post or the photos ;) if it's not on www.GrowingTheHomeGarden.com it's not The Home Garden! Feedscrapers are at it again - this is not directed at regular readers) A Bradford pear tree almost in bloom, please don't plant one... The daffodils are bursting with yellow colors all over our yard. I love spring! The front yard is looking pretty good since it was all cleaned up and mulched. There's still some pruning that needs done - butterfly bushes and yew. There's the arbor way in the back,…

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5 Activities Kids Can Do In The Vegetable Garden

Kids in the garden are funny creatures. Though too young to do many of the garden chores that need done it's important to get them out there not only to learn but to get fresh air. Gardening is an invaluable educational tool because they learn how to do things, procedures, why things are done a certain way, and all about the natural world. So what can parents do to get their children involved in the vegetable garden? Five activities kids can do in the vegetable garden:Plant seeds. Sunflowers, watermelon, and beans are three easy to plant seeds that kids can plant. Generally anything that a child can easily handle and hold is perfect for planting. The older the child is and the better their finger dexterity is the smaller the seeds can be. Another strategy is to let them broadcast small seeds like basil or lettuce into an area. Harvesting:…

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Stopping to Smell the Daylilies

Stopping to smell the daylilies may get you a mild to severe case of nasal pollenitis. Symptoms include a dusty yellow-orange substance that can be found on the surfaces of the nose, possible sneezing and runny eyes, as well as a possible case of severe giggles.

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