Happy New Year! Every year most gardeners make a resolution to be a better gardener in the upcoming season. We vow to complete those gardening tasks that we know we should do but never seem to find the time for. We resolve to stay on top of watering, to weed more often, to try a new variety of flower, or to finally build those raised beds.
If you’re a gardener with kids or grandkids around, why not make a New Year’s resolution to involve them more in the garden? Many of us can trace our gardening roots back to an experience gardening with parents or grandparents. Often the seed for a love of gardening starts there. If you want to garden more with your kids this year, consider making these New Year’s resolutions:
Make time. As anyone who is a parent knows, kids take time, especially young kids. Dedicate some gardening time to your children or grandchildren. Don’t get too caught up in the accomplishments, focus instead on making gardening engaging and fun for your child. A regular schedule will make gardening something for your kids to look forward to.
Keep it simple. The key to building a lasting love of gardening is to make sure your kids are successful in the garden. Keep your goals simple and attainable. Perhaps have your kids grow a small portion of their own raised bed. Help them build, organize, and plant it. Make the tasks of weeding, watering, and harvesting quick and enjoyable.
Allow for self-expression. Remember that this garden, or part of a garden, belongs to your child. Leave room open for self-expression in the garden. If your children want to decorate their raised beds of tomatoes and cucumbers with G.I. Joe or Barbie dolls, let them. Allow their imaginations to run wild so they will be more likely to keep returning to the garden each week.
Make it rewarding. All gardeners want to see results from their labors. Make sure your children’s garden produces vegetables, fruits, or flowers, depending on what they are growing. You may need to spruce up the garden a bit on your own during the growing season, but make sure your kids are front and center for the harvesting and sharing part. Celebrate their garden by inviting friends and family members to come see and enjoy the harvest.