Gardening is Great for Kids

Spring is finally here! It’s a time of renewal, a time to get outside, and a great time to cultivate brand-new hobbies with your kids. Have you ever thought about starting an edible garden in your home? Better yet, have you thought about encouraging your kids to help in the garden or start one of their own? There are many benefits to gardening, and it’s actually easier than you think to start one and get your kids involved.

Increases Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Evidence shows that kids who plant and grow their own fruits and vegetables are more likely to consume fruits and veggies, and do so more often. Gardening helps cultivate curiosity in kids. The smell of the soil, the feel of fresh fruit and veggies—it’s enough to help your kids grow a real passion for gardening and want to taste their creations. Plus, fresh, homegrown produce saves money and somehow tastes so much sweeter.

Provides Physical Activity

Gardening is a great motivator to get kids outside and moving. Walking, lifting, carrying, digging, weeding, and planting provides physical activity without feeling like actual exercise. And, all that time spent outdoors can help your kids get the precious vitamin D they need! It’s a fun physical activity that the whole family can participate in together.

Teaches Valuable Life Skills

Gardening can teach kids many important characteristics, such as self-sufficiency, commitment, and self-confidence. It’s an empowering feeling to know that you can provide your family with food. Of course, gardening doesn’t happen all in one day. It takes weeks or months before you will see any real benefit, which means your kids will learn the value of hard work, patience, and self-discipline.

How to Get Started

A garden can come in any shape or size, depending on the space you have. Purchasing a few containers of easy-to-grow vegetables is a great place to start.

  • Choose your plants. The most practical choices are plants that stay relatively compact. For example, tomatoes, lettuce and other greens, root crops, bush beans, peppers, onions, cabbage family crops, and many herbs are relatively small plants and are all good choices for container growing. You can always ask your kids what they want to grow too! Getting children involved in the planning process gets them excited for their gardening adventure.
  • Choose your containers. There is an almost endless number of possibilities for containers, ranging from half whiskey barrels, to plastic pots, to a pair of old work boots filled with soil! Just about any container that has drainage holes is a potential candidate.
  • Choose the right planting mix. Now comes the fun part—planting! It’s best to use container planting mixes that will allow for proper drainage and aeration, while retaining adequate moisture. Since container plantings have a limited volume of soil, they can dry out fast when the weather gets hot. Some containers may need watering more than once a day, so it’s important to check the soil regularly.

This spring and summer, fill your kids’ free-time with a hobby that can help them stay active, eat healthier, and develop a grass-roots passion for planting and gardening that can last a lifetime. Need more ideas about gardening? Check out these helpful websites:

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