Gardening with Little People

Helping Mommy!

There are many reasons I garden besides the obvious one- to grow food. One of the main reasons I garden is because I find it very relaxing. It really helps me unwind and think. I can pursue some of those thoughts that get lost in the distractions of other things that require more thought than yanking grass out, mulching, or harvesting radishes.

Believe it or not, I still find in relaxing with the three children out there helping me! Now my children are 5, 3 and 1, so things do get interesting once in a while. I think the number one thing that helps keep things under control is the deer fence we have around the garden! No one can escape. LOL! Tip number two is to let go of perfection. The rows will not be straight. The seeds will not all be evenly placed apart. Plants may get run over, snapped off, pulled out or have their leaves pulled off. Plant extras to make up for the loses.

Children work well with the larger seeds. Beans, peas, corn, and melon seeds are easy ones for little hands to work with. Show them how far apart the seeds go and let them at it. Keep an eye on them as they plant because the longer they are at it the less accurate they are at getting the right distance! Potatoes are also a good choice to involve the kids in. Usually, I am planting, while one child steps on a potato and another waters.While I am working with the smaller seeds I let them dig in a part of the garden that hasn’t been planted. They like to make castles and roads and towns for tornadoes to crash through. (We had a tornado come through a few miles from us this spring, so this has been on their minds after they saw the damage!)

Having child sized tools helps add to the fun! I originally bought plastic ones, but they did not hold up to a rambunctious boy. They did not look like Mommy’s tools which meant they just weren’t much fun! I found a small metal hoe and shovel at a garden center for a couple dollars and they were a hit! Just be careful if you have children who tend to get a little wild with things. Metal tools can hurt if they hit someone!

I don’t have a lot of time for pulling weeds and I have a big garden. To make my life simpler I use mulch to keep the weeds under control. My favorite mulch is whatever is handiest! Sometimes that is moldy hay (farmers are always willing to part with this!) and sometimes it might be leaves from the church raking party. For you it might be grass clippings or compost from the city dump, newspaper or pretty much anything on that order. An added benefit to the mulch is that it is great for the soil! Ours is SO much easier to work with since we have been mulching.

If I find this year that I have the space I am going to give Richie and Lillon there own spot in the garden to plant and weed. I think this would be fun and a great learning experience for them. If not, there is always next year. 🙂

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One Response to Gardening with Little People

  1. What a sweet post. You are not only tending to vegetables in your garden, but sowing wonderful seeds of love and care into the hearts of your little ones. Wise momma!

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