CO-Horts

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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Teach a Child to Garden

                           By CSU Horticulture Agent, Linda Langelo


            Photo credit: Linda Langelo, Sherry Brandt with Kylie & Carlie

If for some reason you were not able to teach your child how to start gardening, then maybe in 2021 growing season you can.  Here are some very simple ways to engage your child:

 

  • Ask if they are interested in learning about gardening.
  • Share with them every step in the process.
  • Start at the beginning of looking through catalogues and selecting seeds.
  • Show them how to grow squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe in a container.
  • Provide a calendar that is separate for gardening tasks.
  • Mark dates on the calendar for starting certain seeds, frost free dates and so on.

Above all, give them responsibility. Naturally, the responsibility you assign each child will differ with their age. Responsibility to do certain small tasks you know they can handle such as watering the newly planted squash seeds and marking the calendar when they have watered them.  That way everyone knows. 

Make clear and simple explanations for why you are doing certain tasks when you are doing them. Children are inquisitive and imaginative.  Encourage these qualities by helping them explore.  What happens when you do not plant the onion bulb in deep enough or with the basil end facing the soil surface. Let them plant one onion bulb incorrectly and use a stake to mark it. Watching and wondering what will happen is half the fun.  When the onion sprouts along with the others is when you explain geotropism to them.

Giving them the opportunity to explore and encourage their curiosity which can engage them further with gardening. By doing these things you are giving your children a hand in every aspect of the family garden.  When I was only eight years old, my grandmother told me about the importance of working in fertilizer and sometimes coffee grounds around her roses.  She showed me how and then gave me the responsibility to get it done.  Your child may not grow up have a career in horticulture like I have had, but they may have gardening as a hobby for the rest of their life.  When times get tough, they know how to grow their own food.

For more information to help assist you in this endeavor, here is a link to a CSU article by a CSU Master Garden in Larimer titled “Growing Food and Growing Gardeners” : https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/growing-food-and-growing-gardeners/

At the bottom of the article posted above are CSU Fact Sheets to help you with growing vegetables.  In 2021 growing season, Grow and Give will continue.  Consider taking part if you did not in 2020. For more information go to the following link: https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/grow-give/

Also, get in contact with your local Extension Office or Master Gardeners in your area.

 If you need more assistance with gardening activities here is a short list of links for different age levels:

 https://kidsgardening.org/garden-activities/

https://garden.org/

 

 

 

 



2 comments:

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  2. What a wonderful gift we can give. Both you & your Grandma benefitted.

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