Want to start a backyard veggie garden with your family, but not sure where to start? Gardening is an ideal activity that parents and kids can do together, giving everyone involved an opportunity to learn and grow food as a family.
When I first started gardening over 10 years ago, I was homeschooling my three little kids and living in a small house in the middle of Los Angeles. Going into our tiny backyard became a space of refuge and peace as we learned to grow a garden together.
Years later, I still go into the garden with my youngest, with autism. It is the one place that he feels calm enough to talk and connect with me. Being outside, in the garden has given us a space of peace and connection through the years.
To get started in having your own backyard space of peace with your kids, use these 5 tips to creating a family garden with an easy guide.
1. Benefits of Raised Beds
For gardeners looking to start a garden, a raised garden bed can provide a range of benefits that can enhance the quality of their plants and soil. Raised beds allow gardeners to have more control over the soil they use, allowing them to grow food successfully and not needing to worry about weeding or as many pests.
Raised garden beds provide sturdy spaces that you can add support systems like trellises or arches that provide plants the support they need to grow tall and strong. For any family looking to garden, start with a raised bed and a support system that will make gardening easier and easy to maintain.
2. Right Season for Success
Seasonal gardening is a practice that requires attention to the weather and the best time to plant for spring, summer, and fall. Knowing when to plant not only leads to a better outcome, but it can also ensure that the plants grow properly in the temperature that matches their growing needs.
Look at the highs and lows of your area. Make a chart with your kids with the average for each month. Then decide by looking at the averages what season each month of the year will grow best. Cool weathered crops like carrots, lettuce, and spinach like to grow when the temperature is between 35-75 degrees. Warm weathered crops like tomatoes and peppers grow best in 65-85 degrees. And finally hot weathered crops like beans and squash grow well in temperatures over 85 degrees.
By planting in the right season, the plants are more likely to thrive and produce the best possible results.
3.Time to Get Messy
Gardening with kids is all about getting messy and being in the outdoor sun. It's a wonderful way to spend time outside and teach children about the natural world.
From planting seeds to digging in the dirt, kids love the opportunity to explore, experiment, and be with their parents. The best part is that it doesn't have to be perfect- it's okay if things get messy or don't go as planned.
Encourage them to use their senses and engage with the different textures and smells of the plants. Gardening with kids is a great way to create lasting memories and cultivate a love for nature.
Spending time outside in your garden is not only a great way to take in some fresh air, but it can also be an opportunity to spend quality time together as a family away from technology. By working together in your garden, you not only cultivate a beautiful outdoor space, but also strengthen your relationships.
There are many creative ways to enjoy the garden growing together, like designing and building a garden project together as a team or planting a green bean teepee. No matter what you choose, the important thing is to have fun and create meaningful memories together that you will cherish for years to come.
5.Harvesting the Fun
Last but not least is the harvest. When that first tomato ripens on the vine and your child tastes it fresh can be an incredible experience to give them that they will never forget.
There is something incredibly fulfilling about harvesting and eating fruits and vegetables from a family garden. The process of planting, caring for, and watching the fruits of your labor grow into beautiful and delicious produce is truly a rewarding experience.
The taste of fresh fruits and vegetables simply cannot compare to store-bought produce. When you eat what you grow, you are also taking a step towards a healthier lifestyle, full of natural and nutrient-packed foods.
In conclusion, I will never regret starting a garden years ago with my kids. Instead, I can say that gardening together has been one of the most meaningful activities we have done as a family. I'm so glad we took that step of gardening together.
What can gardening do for you and your family?
Gardening together as a family is not only an enjoyable way to increase quality time, but it can also provide powerful benefits such as fresh fruits and veggies, fun experiences, and family connection.
From planning to harvesting, the journey of nurturing a garden offers invaluable lessons and rewarding results. Start your family garden today, create lasting memories, and enjoy the fruits of your shared efforts. Step outside and let gardening bring you closer together while creating lifelong memories.
----Photos from Alicia DeVore