Garden Solutions Center Blogs
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Fall Gardening with Kids
Gardening with your kids is a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the beautiful crisp fall air and colorful scenery. The best vegetables to grow during the fall in your backyard garden include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach and kale. Fall vegetables can easily turn in delicious soups and stews as the weather cools off. And getting your kids interested in gardening can help them learn where their food comes from, teach them healthy eating habits and encourage them to spend time outdoors. Not sure how to get your kids involved? Check out these three kid-friendly fall garden projects.
A fancy word for worm farming, vermicomposting or worm composting, can turn your kitchen waste into rich compost that’s full of nutrients your plants need. If your kids love digging for worms, you can put their efforts to use in a productive way. To create your own worm composting bin, you’ll need a 10-gallon opaque storage bin, a large tray, bricks or small planters, a drill, shredded newspaper, 2 cups of soil or compost, water, food scraps and about 1 pound of worms (approximately 1,000).
Drill 18 to 20 half-inch and quarter-inch holes in the bottom of your bin. Set the bin on top of two bricks or planters that have been set on top of the tray. Soak the shredded newspaper in water, squeeze out excess water and place it loosely in the bin. Add soil to the bin and then add the pound of worms. You can put your kids to work collecting worms a few days in advance and then buy enough worms to reach the 1 pound requirement. After the worms have burrowed into the soil, add kitchen scraps evenly across the bin and cover the food scraps with the soil and newspaper mixture. Keep the bin in a cool area without much temperature fluctuation.
Every few months, put food scraps on one side of the bin. After a few days, the worms will migrate to the food-only side. Scoop out the non-food side of the bin, now rich with nutrients from the worms, to use as compost in your garden.
Window box gardens
Give your kids an easy-to-manage garden by helping them create a window box garden. You’ll need good potting soil, water, a window box, fertilizer and whatever types of veggies your child wants to grow. Lettuce, radishes and dwarf carrots grow easily in window boxes. Spread the potting soil evenly in the window box, make marks with your fingers to decide where you want to plant each seed and then sow the seeds. Make sure each seed is about 1-inch from the side of the window box and about a half-inch apart from other seeds. Make small markers to identify the seeds and cover each with about a quarter-inch of soil. Set the window box in a warm and sunny area and water regularly to keep the soil moist.
Painted rocks and plant markers
Remembering which seeds are planted where and helping your kids identify one plant from others after they start to sprout is easy with painted rocks or plant markers. If you want to use painted rocks, let your kids collect their favorite rocks from around the neighborhood, set out paints, write out plant names and then they can enjoy an afternoon of arts and crafts. You can also make plant markers out of tiny planters on a stick, shaved twigs with the plant name written in sharpie, clothespins, wine corks on a stick, tea tags, toothpick and tape flags or painted popsicle sticks.
These simple and fun projects can help get your kids interested in gardening, keep them occupied and provide more outdoor activities you can enjoy together. Be sure to start your garden early in the fall and keep an eye on the forecast for any frost advisories. With a little work upfront and just a few months of waiting, your kids can literally see the fruits of their labor.