Written by – Kaitlynn from MIgardener
My goal with this series is to make accessible material for parents who want to teach their kids about gardening from the ground up. These guides will consist of a short reading section about a gardening subject, followed by ideas for projects and experiments. These at-home projects will make the concepts more concrete for the kiddos! I hope they can be a source of fun for you and your family.
Read aloud: For a hands-on approach to gardening, your little ones will want some time in the dirt! Today we are going to talk about how, where, and what questions to ask to start a mini garden. For this lesson, I recommend writing down the highlighted words and looking them up with your kids. This will be a visual aid to help them learn all the possibilities in a new garden!
The first step to planning your first garden is to decide where and what to set it in. Look up pictures of gardens and imagine what you'd like yours to look like! Does your perfect garden have mini raised beds? Would you like to grow things in pots instead? Some plants climb when they grow! Do you think fences are pretty or would you rather use trellises to hold them up? For your first garden, you can recycle old things to use as planters like tires, pallets, or dresser drawers! Draw a picture of what you'd like your first garden to look like and see if you can make it happen in real life!
Before you can start planting your garden, you have to plan it first! After you decide what you want to plant, you have to make a schedule for when you are going to plant it. Some fruits and vegetables grow faster than others, so they have to be planted at different times! With every variety, you choose to plant, look up how long it will take to germinate, how much sun it needs, and when it will be ready to harvest. You can normally make a schedule for your garden after you read the instructions that come on the back of each seed packet.
What to Plant
First and foremost, plant things you are excited to grow! Make a list of your favorite fruits and vegetables and see if you can find seeds for them. There are some types that grow faster than others. These are the best to grow in your first garden! A few examples are sunflowers, green beans, lettuce, radishes, and peas! If you want to add good smells to your little garden, planting herbs like lemon balm and mint would be perfect additions! Write down a list of things that you think would be fun to grow and harvest.
Project: Mini My-First Garden
2-3 of your favorite fruit or veggie varieties
2'/2' square of garden space
Mark off this small portion of your garden for your little ones to explore their own space. Follow this straight forward tutorial to follow through with all the brainstorming you did during today's lesson! Encourage your little ones to imagine big and be creative with their designated space in the garden. Enjoy!
This is an easy hands-on project for any age group. For more options for crafts and experiments for this lesson, follow our MIsprouts Pinterest page.
I hope this post was helpful! Please leave me some feedback in the comments on Facebook!