Gardening with your child

Les Jardins-jeunes © Espace pour la vie (Martine Larose)
Gardening with your child

Whether you live in the city or the countryside, it’s very easy to create a garden adapted to your abilities and the space you have available, even if it’s only the corner of a balcony. With appropriate containers and varieties of fruit and vegetables suitable for your environment, the experience can be most enjoyable. And if you involve your children in the planning, you can make a family project of it and share the pleasures of gardening with them all summer long!

Gardening for everyone

At what age should children start gardening? If they can hold a small watering can or plant a good-sized seed, such as beans or nasturtiums, they’re ready! It’s obviously necessary to adapt tasks to abilities: a preschooler will need more support, while school-age children may very well take care of their little garden by themselves, if guided and encouraged. In the case of very young children, choose container gardening or a garden in a raised bed, as the very young do not yet have good space perception and could trample seedlings.

Step One: Plan the garden

First, determine how much space will be reserved for the garden:

  • Choose a sunny spot in the backyard or on a balcony.
  • Make sure the soil is rich and healthy.

You must also select the vegetables, flowers and herbs that will make up the garden. This is a stage where children can already participate, looking through seed catalogues with you or visiting shops that sell plants and seedlings. Next, it’s time to design the plan of your future garden. A small garden divided into four 60-centimeter squares, planted with radishes, carrots, lettuce and a tomato plant, is quite sufficient for a first experience.

Remember to get the right equipment : a planter, a watering can, a hoe (also called a “claw”) and a leaf rake are essential tools for gardening. To reduce costs, you can choose reusable containers for your planters, drilling them with drainage holes, and recycle your old spoons and forks to serve as dibbles and hoes.

So start planning your garden now! Don’t miss the second part of this post, which will give you tips on taking care of your garden with your child.

Need information about a plant, a gardening problem or a plant disease? Come see us at the horticultural information counter. Your child loves to garden? Discover the Youth Gardens program.

Do you have questions about this blog?
Visit our Green Pages Or, go to the Horticultural information counter at the Jardin botanique for personalized service. One of our experts will be happy to give you more information.

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