Monday, November 14, 2016

Growing the Next Generation of Gardeners

It is possible to lure youngsters away from their electronic devices! Here are some tips I’ve found helpful with my young gardeners.
  • Involve them in a project that has a fairly short timeline and in which they can be a full participant. Planting annuals is perfect. The holes are small and the results are quick and easy to see.
  • Take them to the nursery and let them help pick out the plants. They picked out some that don’t fit in your plans? Those can be special plants for them to put in a pot.
Having your very own gardening gloves makes it more fun
  • Invest in child-sized tools. Having the right tool for the right job is the secret for success in most cases and especially in gardening. There are child-sized gloves and gardening tools available. Just make sure the tools are study enough to do the job.
  • Follow up might not be their greatest strength and you want them to be able to see success, so be prepared to help with maintenance and watering of their gardens.
  • Another project can be a fairy garden—and it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Use pots or containers you already have and use their small toys in them. You’re not aiming for best in the show but teaching to them find enjoyment in nature and to believe in their own creativity.
  • Take walks and talk about different plants, why they grow where they are, what’s special about them. Leave the cell phone at home or in your pocket. Visit botanic gardens and parks and be on the lookout for plants.
On of my sons added butterfly bushes to his garden
and his children love the butterflies that visit
  • Remember that small gardeners can also have small attention spans. Let them set the pace and don’t expect to them to work with you for too many hours.
  • For those who are goal oriented, try developing a specimen plant for entry in a local county fair. Ribbons are exciting at any age.
  • Help your young gardeners to learn that there are good bugs and not to fear them or see all as something to be squashed. Many bugs are favorites for little gardeners. Be on the lookout for lady bugs and butterflies.
With just a bit of luck, you’ll not only be cultivating the next generation of gardeners but also developing enduring relationships with your family members as well as with Mother Earth.

More ideas? Add them to the comments section to share with your fellow gardeners.

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