Anyone will tell you that “kids these days” aren’t spending enough time outside. Gardening with your kids is a great way to get them out of the home. Never gardened? Figuring out how to begin can be overpowering, but it does not need to be. Here’s what you need to get going:

1. Sun
2. Dirt
3. Water
4. Seeds or seedlings

It is really that simple.

First pick a place that gets at least six hours of sunlight.

Garden design perth

Bonus if it is close to your child’s play area.

Alison Hodgson

It is never too early to start. I gave each of my kids mini garden tools when they were toddlers, and they loved to dig in the dirt.

All three were invited to garden, but just my youngest, Eden, is a gardener in her own right. Each of the kids were permitted to pick out plants, but Eden was the only one I gave a single space to when she was 4 years old, and that little shift of ownership, so youthful, made all the difference. Here she is in front of her garden with her uncle Ren.

It all began on a spring visit to a nursery. I told Eden she can select some flowers for her garden, thinking a few four-packs, but she commandeered a whole flat — 48 plants! I chose to let her have fun and didn’t intervene in some of her choices, some of which looked quite garish in the cart. Once planted they were amazing, and that was that.

Alison Hodgson

The “Garden of Eden” was just one section of a pie-shaped series of planting beds. Eden’s plot was roughly 5 by 9 feet, and most of that was shot up with a tall tepee I created from tree branches tied and wrapped in twine. We covered the inner circle with a light layer of mulch and planted green bean seeds and morning glories at the base of every branch. To tell the truth, they never got enough sunlight to totally cover the structure, but we could harvest endless beans, and it was still a fantastic fort. Here you can see that as soon as the branches were put, the young gardener transferred in and started decorating.

Pat Brodie Landscape Design

In another homeowner’s garden, bamboo poles prove they’re a fantastic alternative if you don’t have access to branches that are tall.

Earth Mama Landscape Design

With your garden you can go as large as you need …

Nature’s Realm

… or as little.

Front yard or back — plant wherever sunlight is, like this glorious profusion …


… or a more comprised, as revealed here.

Plow & Hearth

Hardwood Raised Bed Garden Kit – $139.99

One raised bed is a great way to begin. You can make one economically, but if you’re not handy, you can purchase one. They come in a selection of prices.

Beertje Vonk Artist

This raised bed is about as straightforward as it gets. Go with cedar to avoid rotting.

Alison Hodgson

If you do not have the energy or space to make a new bed, that’s fine. When we moved into our new home, following our fire, Eden was excited to plant an extensive vegetable garden, but I was worn out. We compromised by buying a slew of seedlings and planted them together with the perennials and shrubs.

Eden wanted strawberries, red peppers, broccoli, kale, pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini and herbs. I desired tomatoes and basil — my summer garden bottom line.

See the guides to growing these summer crops

Alison Hodgson

Here Eden and Oliver were resting after planting strawberries.

With other garden beds I’ve gone into great lengths to purify the soil, but last year I kept it to digging slightly bigger holes than needed and filling them back with topsoil plus a bit of composted manure. It had been the laziest planting and, except for the watermelon, everything was nice.

Alison Hodgson

Your kids can also garden in pots.

Tip: Let your child make mistakes. (If you’re new to gardening, this might be simple!) Despite my recommendations, Eden packaged this planter with too many herbaceous plants, but she insisted. Not one of them prospered. Lesson learned — no big thing.

Jean Marsh Design

Some Favorite Plants to Try

Nasturtiums are a few of my favorite flowering annuals (plants that live just for a single season) to blend in with veggies. They’re extremely common and can be purchased at any local nursery. Their leaves are equally as amazing as the blossom.

Barbara Pintozzi

Snapdragons. Children love to make these “talk.”

Johnsen Landscapes & Pools

Verbena bonariensis is a airy perennial flower in the southern portion of the U.S., although it openly self-seeds, it isn’t thought to be invasive.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Cosmos come in many shades of pink, as well as white and less commonly chocolate brown. They can easily be started from seed.

Notice the pavers: Children love little paths.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

If you’re new to gardening and feeling overwhelmed, then return to the basics: sunlight, dirt, water and seeds.

Even if your child’s storyline is 1 square foot and jammed into your landscaping, all that matters is that it belongs to him or her alone. Create a border with small rocks and have your child write their name on a bigger one. It is fun for a child to be permitted to say, “Mine!”

But small you begin, get outside; dig into the dirt, join with nature as well as your kids, plant some seeds or seedlings, and see them grow.

Alison Hodgson

Ren and Eden last summer, eager to make kale chips out of “Eden’s” kale.

Inform us What is in your list of things to plant this spring and summer?

How to build a raised garden bed

guides into growing veggies

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