Gear Up for Gardening Together
This year’s planting catalogs have likely already started arriving in your mailbox. And though it may be a little early to start putting flowers, veggies, and more in the ground, it’s never too early to start planning a special bed or two for enjoying the gardening season with your grandchild.
Here are a few tips and ideas to kick off the fun:
- Designate one part of your yard or garden—or even one special container garden, if you’re short on space—then peruse the gardening catalogs and websites for all you want to include in the space.
- Keep in mind this one particular space is primarily for the grandchild, so guide the process but allow him or her to make plenty of the selections and decisions.
- Go for a variety with planting methods. Seeds are always fun to plant and watch sprout, while plantings will provide some instant gratification while you wait.
- Include plenty of goodies to eat along with the pretty and colorful marigolds and such. Beans are one of the easier edibles to grow. Consider cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, too. And don’t forget herbs such as basil and oregano, which can be sprinkled on homemade (or frozen) pizza.
- Forego chemicals on a garden children will be digging into. Research together some organic ways to ward off bugs and disease. Consider options for repelling wildlife, too, such as squirrels, deer, even cats and dogs.
- Include your grandchild in the work involved in gardening as well as the reaping of the bounty. They’ll naturally tire of the toiling far sooner than you, far sooner than will be effective, but take that with a grain of salt and finish up the job yourself later.
- Plan some fun things to do with what’s grown. Include edibles grown in the garden in snacks or meals. Allow flowers to be cut and shared with friends and family. Etch a child’s initials (or name, if short) into a small pumpkin to watch the scarred name stretch and grow right along with the gourd.
There’s something about getting one’s hands dirty and appreciating what comes from the earth to counteract all the electronic and artificial stimulation children get on a daily basis. Start planning now to make the most of the growing season, to ensure that your grandchild’s curiosity with the natural world grows right along with those goodies you’ll soon plant and enjoy together.
Lisa Carpenter is a writer and blogger specializing in topics related to grandparenting and parenting adult children. She publishes the Grandma’s Briefs website and can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.