A Child's First Organic Garden
child's first organic garden
If you have ever seen the look of wonder on a child’s face when he or she touches a flower for the first time then you can understand the importance of allowing children to experience gardening first hand.
The garden exists between Nature and civilization and provides a direct connection to both. When children grow plants for themselves they are engaged in a learning activity that will follow and possibly guide them throughout their lives.
Obviously, the child will need some adult guidance and supervision; however, allowing them a small plot that is theirs will reap long term rewards.
Children and organic gardening are a natural fit; one, organic gardening is a hands on activity and kids do enjoy being hands on and two it organic gardening does not use any harmful chemicals.
When it comes to garden tool, there are a number of manufacturers who are producing sturdy and safe tools specifically for children. I recently used a shovel a four year old lent me to fill some containers, it was a sturdy plastic no sharp edges and got the job done.
To build the child’s first organic garden, either set aside part of your garden bed or create their own space.
I favour giving the child a space of their own to grow flowers and vegetables. Engage the child in site design and plant selection. Radishes are a great first crop as they are ready to pick usually within 28 days after planting. Patience is one of many things a child will discover while gardening.
Make the bed two feet across and four feet long so that it is not too big and the young gardener can readily reach the plants.
Radishes, as I mentioned, are a good choice for the first garden, as are Johnny jump ups and other edible flowers.Salad greens, such as lettuces and spinach, are good choices, they can be picked and keep on growing, take the time to show your child how to harvest the crops they plant.
If you lack space, or time, a container garden may be the best choice for your child’s first organic garden. The container can be large enough, say two feet across, to hold a fair number of plants so there is variety to keep the young gardener’s interest alive.
Or a series of containers can do the job, the container(s) can be located on a deck near the back door so the child is close by an under ready supervision while gardening.
However, the garden proceeds, involving your child in the complete process from seed selection to harvest and end use will multiply the learning experience and the fun considerably.