I was lucky, I had a nice sized garden, a big yard to play in, and grownups who absolutely understood the importance of getting kids into the garden. Every Easter we would gather with my grandparents for the traditional Easter egg hunt, and every year my grandmother and I would sneak off to the garden, she would take me on a tour, showing me the new season’s garden plans. It was a delightful time, great memories, it was our special time together. I look back now on those wonderful Easter memories and I am extremely thankful that I was raised by people who loved gardens and that because of their love for me and for gardening, they took the time to be sure their knowledge was passed on.
I believe that all children can (and should) have an opportunity to spend a little quality time in a garden. It can give them a marvelous new hobby that will encourage exercise and healthy living, and maybe even a life-long love of gardening.
So, have a look at these ideas, and think about getting your little sprouts out in the garden this Easter! There are lots of easy plants to start them on, and they will be so excited as they watch their own plants grow and develop.
You can create a simple seed tray and let children sow their own plants. This is a perfect time to sow summer vegetables and flowers. Try pansies and calendula, or even tomatoes and green beans. Just grow them on the windowsill and keep the compost moist but not soaking. This is so easy!
You can sow seeds in all sorts of containers too. Excite them by getting them to find their own unique planters. Try egg cartons, old mugs, broken toys, tin cans or anything that can hold a bit of soil for a start. You might even pop in to the local thrift store and look for random treasures to recycle as planters. Let their imaginations go to work!
Perhaps give them their own special corner of the garden. Keep it small and manageable and get them to plant and water it. The sense of ownership and responsibility will make them feel so grown up. They will be proud of their patch as it starts to grow. They will even be more willing to eat vegetables that they have grown themselves! A trip to the garden center will give you plenty of inspiration.
Choose a sunny location and dig a hole in the ground (or in a planter or large pot) that is deep enough for all the roots and about 12 inches wide. Help your child carefully take the plant from its original container and transfer it into the hole. Pack soil in the hole and around the plant. Check the moisture level every day and water the plants as necessary. If you have any questions about how much water or sunlight your tomato plants need, visit your local gardening center and ask the staff - another fun activity for kids.
You don't want the plants to get too heavy and fall over. Therefore, when they reach about 10 inches high, you need to provide them with a little support. Stick a wooden stake into the soil right next to the plant and tie it with a string or buy wire tomato cages at the gardening center to provide the support your tomato plants need.
From seeds to harvest, talk to you kids about the growth process and all it takes to nurture the tomato plants and help them thrive. Gardening is a fun experience for young kids and the whole family. Happy Easter and...