It’s time to get outside, get dirty, learn, and have some fun! Gardening with your kids not only cultivates flowers or food but also valuable life lessons. Working in the dirt helps to develop nurturing skills, empowers kids, inspires creativity, teaches responsibility, and provides a sense of accomplishment. No matter how much space you have, gardening can be easy, even if you don’t have any experience. Here are a few ideas to help get you started and make gardening fun for you and your kids.

Pick your Seeds

First you’ll need to decide what you would like to grow. Whether you choose flowers or vegetables, right now is the perfect time for planting. My kids and I like to plant vegetables, particularly green beans, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. When choosing your seeds, be mindful of how the plants like to grow. Just check out the back of the seed packet – all of the directions for successful planting are described on the back.

Pick your Planter

Depending on the amount of space you have available, whether in your yard, porch, or driveway, you can select a planter that’s just the right size. It can be a pot, a bucket, an empty crate, a raised bed, or just spot in your yard – be creative! You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest to fit any location of your home. Be sure to do a little research on the types of vegetables you’d like to grow. Some grow up, some grow out – you’ll need to make sure your plants have plenty of room to grow.

Pick your Supplies

You’ll need tools for planting and soil if you’re not planting directly into the ground. These supplies can be picked up at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or any other gardening store. Visit Stonewall Garden Center in Canadensis, where store owner Elaine can help you find exactly what you need.

Pick your Location

Your plants will need to be exposed to the elements, so be sure to select a location with plenty of sunshine and rain.

Dig In!

Time to play in the dirt! If you’re planting in your back yard, you’ll need to turn up the soil and get it ready for planting. If you’re using a planter, fill it up with soil to prepare for planting, and then plant your seeds according to their directions.

Grow, baby, Grow!

Be sure to take care of your seeds daily – watch for weeds and make sure they are getting enough sunshine and water. Your kids will love checking their progress and seeing their hard work come to life!

For more tips on gardening, check out these helpful websites.

• 10 Easy Veggies to Plant w/ Kids
www.picklebums.com/veggies-to-grow-with-kids

• 10 Easy Grow Vegetables for Beginner Gardeners
www.gracefullittlehoneybee.com/10-easy-grow-vegetables-beginner-gardeners

• 11 Tips for Beginner Gardeners
www.thefreerangelife.com/11-tips-beginning-gardeners