Have you considered starting an indoor garden? My daughter became interested in starting a garden after a field trip to a local nature center. The idea of planting seeds and watching them grow got her excited. Recently we planted a few basil seeds to grow in our kitchen. The kids are excited about starting a garden and I think it’ll be a fun family activity. I don’t know a whole lot about gardening, so I am happy to have Jonathan Leger, an avid gardener, provide some information for you!
Have you grown tired of your children sitting in front of the Xbox playing mindless games all day? Maybe it is time that they start digging in real dirt and experience the thrill and enjoyment of gardening.
However, weather can be temperamental or you may not have the yard for gardening in the traditional sense. With that in mind, we can easily take the garden indoors and help to instill a love of gardening in the minds and fingers of our little ones. Below are several ideas to help children appreciate the fun of gardening.
Begin An Indoor Herb Garden
One of the easiest ways to encourage your children to appreciate gardening can actually start in the kitchen. Growing herbs are fun and helps to encourage children to try new foods with what they help to grow. All that is needed are some small pots and a nice sunny windowsill. Herbs can be started from seeds, transplants or cuttings. When planting herbal seeds, it is important to make sure your children know not to place the seeds too far into the soil. For young children, they can be allowed to sprinkle seeds on top of the soil and lightly cover it with potting soil.
Prepare For Outdoor Gardening
If you have enough room for an outdoor garden, you will want to take the winter as an extended dress rehearsal for your children. An excellent starting point is to find out when the last frost is expected in your area and have your children mark it on the calendar. Once you know the expected last frost, you and your children can begin planting in the home.
It is especially good to plant cold season crops at this time. These can be placed outdoors even if you have not had the last frost of the season. These include cauliflower, kale, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and spinach.
However, other crops such as peppers, squash, cucumbers, melons, and tomatoes must be planted after the last frost. This is why it is important to create a calendar and start planning for an incredible garden. By starting the garden indoor early your family will start enjoying produce at a much earlier stage.
Recycle Your Trash
Even if your family is on a tight budget, you can still enjoy an indoor garden. Instead of going to your local retail shop to buy planters, start looking around the home. Plants can be planted in milk cartons, coffee cans and almost any other container located in the kitchen. However, it is important to realize that they will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Before the containers can be filled with soil, be sure that you punch them with holes for water to drain.
A Simple Start
Indoor gardening does not have to be confusing or complex. In fact, you can start with some simple discarded vegetables in your kitchen. One of the easiest disposable gardens to start with is with the bottom of a celery stalk. Once all the stalks have been used, take the bottom and place it in a clean jar of water. After a few days, it will begin to sprout roots. At that time, the plants can be placed in soil and your children will love seeing this plant come back to life.
Create An Aromatic Wonderland
Even if it may be the dead of winter, you can still enjoy the scent of fresh flowers in your home. Buy plenty of flowering seeds like sweet alyssum, lobelia, impatiens, geraniums, and dwarf marigolds for an incredible burst of indoor color. Start the seed in small peat pots until they are ready to be transplanted. Teach your children the importance of removing and pinching blooms to get fuller plants, as well as rotating them to get enough sun. Once summer comes, the plants can all be moved outdoors on the deck or patio if you choose to.
You and your children do not have to be experts to start gardening indoors. In fact, it is fun to make mistakes and start all over again, they are excellent learning opportunities. Indoor gardening does not only provide a chance for children to develop a love for gardening but it is ripe for bonding and simply spending time together. Indoor gardening will provide memories that will last for years and help to develop an appreciation for healthy living.
Jonathan Leger is a member of the Garden Writer’s Association and a gardening enthusiast. He runs a site dedicated to the history, education and care of knockout roses at KnockoutRoses.net.