What better way to get your kids or students into appreciating good, organic food than by getting them into the garden? Read our fun ideas on gardening with kids this fall and start a green thumb project in your own backyard or school lot!
1. Provide them with a space of their own to cultivate
Kids will be more interested if they have their own space to cultivate and become responsible for. Make sure you set them up in a spot with plenty of sunlight and healthy soil, as success is what they will want to strive for. Also provide them with durable tools (not breakable plastic ones) to acknowledge the importance of the work their doing in the garden.
2. Decorate the garden!
Decorate your garden to make it feel more like a verdant wonderland with statues, homemade stepping stones, wind chimes and garden stakes and hanging ornaments. You can even build secret hideaways and structures for them to play in. Kids have wonderful imaginations and providing some characters to let it run wild will make their time in the garden feel more magical.
3. Plant varieties that attract butterflies and other beneficial insects
Butterflies are mesmerizing and elegant creatures that kids love to spot, so planting fall blooming flowers like asters, late blooming sedums, milkweed and goldenrod to enjoy these insects late into the season. These plants will also attract other insects that you can spot and identify together for a fun afternoon activity!
4. Rainy Day Activity: Make a garden map and plant labels
If it looks like you have a rainy weekend ahead of you, get crafty and help your kids make a map of the garden, plotting out where certain plants are growing or where certain ones were the previous season. You can also have them make labels for plants in the garden or starts seeds to be planted in a greenhouse or polytunnel.
5. Care for your perennials
Fall is the best time to mulch your weeded and pruned perennial bushes such as blueberries, cane berries and perennial flowers. Kids love spreading mulch, so get them together with a wheelbarrow, some shovels and rakes and let the mulching begin!
6. Plant a tree..or many trees!
It's best to plant trees once the they have dropped their leaves, but the soil is still warm enough for their roots to acclimate. Tree planting is a wonderful activity for the whole family, and such an environmentally beneficial one. And how cool will it be to see the tree grow alongside your kids!
7. Time to compost
Fall is the perfect time of year to get your last layered compost for the year going. Have the kids help you gather the different layers (mowing the lawn if they're old enough) and work together to create the mound, which they can check the temperature of the next day and be amazed!
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