Most people see gardening as an activity that only moms or grandmothers enjoy. But gardening can be a fun and rewarding activity for the entire family — not just the maternal figures in the house. From planning and planting to harvesting and eating, gardening with children is lots of work but also tons of fun.
Gardening requires patience and hard work from every member of the household to reap the benefits. However, there are ways that you can make this process easier for everyone involved. Here are some tips to make gardening fun for everyone:
1. Make a plan before you start gardening
The very first thing that you need to do is to sit down and talk with your family about what everyone wants from the garden. Once everyone has an idea of what they want the garden to look like, you can start working together to make a plan on how everyone can contribute. You don’t need anything fancy for this step, just paper and pencils can be enough to get the job done.
2. Choose plants that everyone will enjoy
Every family member has different tastes, so make sure to get suggestions from everyone. You should also consider how much time everyone will have to take care of the plants. Some types of flowers or vegetables require a lot more care than others, so you should pick something manageable for your family.
3. Get the right tools for the job
Having the right tools can make gardening much easier. Before you start shopping for tools, figure out exactly what everyone needs to do to water and tend their assigned plants. You can also check which tools can help make the job easier for everyone, such as getting a water-smart irrigation system for the whole garden.
4. Be patient and take your time
Gardening can take time, so make sure to leave enough for everyone. Explain what and when it needs to be done, but don’t push too hard. This can create problems such as more arguing and less work getting done, which will be counterproductive. Instead of rushing to get everything done, try gardening at a slower pace.
5. Let kids help out in the garden
Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, everyone can be part of the gardening process. For toddlers, try setting them up with toys or books near the plants, so they can play while you work. Older children might want to take a more active role, so let them help out by watering or pulling weeds, although make sure to supervise younger kids with sharp tools.
6. Set up a schedule to get the most out of gardening
Setting up a regular schedule can help organize everyone’s chores, no matter how much time they have. For example, if you have a toddler, maybe they just need to water for 10-15 minutes every morning while an older child can take care of weeding and some daily watering.
7. Take breaks and enjoy the fruits of your labor
Gardening can be hard work, so it’s important to take a break now and then. Make sure that everyone gets a chance to stop and relax, so they don’t get burnt out on gardening. Also, make sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor — there’s nothing like harvesting fresh, homegrown vegetables for your Sunday family dinner.
8. Make a family garden journal to keep track of progress
Take pictures and notes in a special journal to remember what worked and what didn’t for next year. This is a great way to get children involved in the process of gardening because they will be more likely to see results when they get to add their own notes.
9. Use organic methods whenever possible
Using organic methods will make your life much easier because they are healthy for everyone and don’t involve harsh chemicals. For instance, using natural pesticides can save money and help you grow a successful garden. However, when in doubt, follow the instructions on whatever product you use.
10. Have fun!
The most important tip is to have fun! Gardening can be a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Make sure to enjoy every moment you are out in the garden because that’s what will make everyone want to do it again next year. Don’t treat gardening as work; instead, look at it as a bonding activity that your whole family can enjoy.
Gardening is a great way to spend time with your family and get some exercise, but it can also be difficult to get everyone on board. Hopefully, these tips will help make gardening more enjoyable for your family, so you can all relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.