Backyard Gardening for Kids

Spring is the time to encourage young gardeners to watch their peas and cukes! Why not help cultivate a child's green thumb by working with them to grow a backyard gardening hobby? The first step in backyard gardening for kids is to choose a sunny, fairly level plot of land. Check to make sure that the condition of your soil is dark and clumpy, the traits of good growing soil.

If it's not, you may need to add fertilizer such as compost or manure. If you're using an area where there was an existing backyard gardening plot, simply section off an area about 3 feet by 4 feet for your young gardener. Next, draw a map showing exactly where and what you're going to plant and go buy your seeds. Here are some backyard gardening seed suggestions:

  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • Snapdragons
  • Zinnias

Now that you've selected your kid's backyard gardening location and created a planting design, it's time to gather your tools. You'll need:

  • Spade or Digging Fork
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • A Pencil
  • Sunflowers
  • Hoe
  • Sticks
  • String

Once you've acquired all your tools, you are ready to dig your backyard gardening area! As you're digging, clear away any rocks or weeds. Continue digging up the entire space on your plan (about 8 inches deep) then break up all the dirt lumps. When you're done, rake the soil flat.

It's time to plant! Following your plan, place a stick along each side of the plot where you want the rows to be planted. Make sure you keep the rows 12 inches apart. Connect each row with a piece of string in order to keep your rows straight. Next, use a small shovel to make little trenches in the soil below each string. The directions on your seed packages will tell you how deep to plant your seeds. Always plant the seeds a safe distance from each other (about 2 handspans apart). Afterwards, cover the seeds lightly with dirt and press firmly. You may want to place an empty seed packet on the stick so you know what is growing in that row. Now that your backyard garden is planted remember to teach backyard gardening basics to kids. They need to water it everyday and tend to it by pulling the weeds from their roots as fast as they can be seen.

No matter what you and your young gardener grow, the wonderful shared experience of backyard gardening will equal (and sometimes surpass) the bountiful harvest you grow together.

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