This post brought to you by Whitney Farms. All opinions are 100% mine.
Nobody knows like a blogger knows that it is IMPORTANT to get outside. It’s important to unplug from screens, and get outside and play, hang out, commune with nature, and grow things. I really want to hang out with my kids outside, but I will admit, I get bored just sitting there watching. I need a purpose when I am outside. What better purpose than a garden?
I would LOVE to have a fabulous garden, but I am afraid to dream bigger than I can handle (especially with three small boys and a business to manage), so I am starting with baby steps! I bought a few terra cotta planters, and some potted flowers to get me started (and gain some gardening momentum!) Hopefully some smaller projects will boost my confidence and get me started on the road toward an amazing garden.
The most important thing is to just dig in and grow something!
Growing organic produce is a goal of mine. I am concerned with my family’s health and safety, so I’m using organic materials for my gardening efforts! Whitney Farms® sent me some organic plant food to try out, so today my two year-old and I got outside and planted our flowers.
Tips for Gardening With Toddlers:
1. Let your child do it himself
It’s so important to let children do things themselves. You don’t need to “do it the right way” — just doing it is enough. Of course, a two year-old isn’t old enough to do everything, but you would be surprised how much he can accomplish with just verbal instructions.
2. Choose easy/zone appropriate plants
Even if you don’t know anything about gardening, take a few minutes to research plants online. Look for plants that will flourish in your zone, and are easy to grow without much maintenance. Ask the garden expert at your local nursery. Here’s an article for Easy to Grow Vegetables for kids.
3. Don’t stress about setbacks
Spilled a whole lotta dirt on the ground? No problem. Made a mess with too much water from the hose? It’s all part of the fun. Your plants didn’t grow and your veggie patch didn’t produce very well? That’s okay. Sometimes things don’t work out exactly like we planned, but the important part is to get outside and try.
4. Dress appropriately for dirty fun!
Before you and your toddler hit the garden, put on your grubby work and play clothes, some old shoes, and get ready to get some dirt on your hands. It’s hard to relax when you are concerned about keeping nice clothes clean, so don’t wear them out in the garden. Then relax and put your hands in the dirt!
5. Clean as you go
To avoid getting overwhelmed with too much maintenance, keep projects small (baby steps!), and clean up yard debris, packaging materials, and tools as you complete a small project. With toddlers, keep directed projects short (about 15-30 minutes) including clean up time. Tackle larger projects yourself when your child is fed and well-rested and ready to play outside for an hour or two. And don’t forget the sunscreen before you start!
6. Avoid chemicals
Being safe and healthy is one of your number one priorities when gardening with children. Use organic soil and plant food, and you might even want to test your soil before you begin.
7. If you can, grow some veggies
When kids help grow veggies, they see where they come from, and they become much more interested in eating them. How many important teachable moments will come just from growing a few veggies in your garden? Growing veggies is phase two of my baby-steppin’ plan to do more gardening, but I bought a few seed packets from the store to try to start with! I really want to make a bean teepee!
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to dig in with your child! Check out this article with 10 Tips for Gardening with Kids for more compelling reasons to garden with your kiddos.
Thanks to our sponsor!
Here’s a $3 coupon for you to try out Whitney Farms plant food: Whitney Farms®
To plant our potted flowers we:
1. Put potting soil in the pot.
2. Added Whitney Farms® organic plant food into the hole, according to package directions.
3. Gently removed the flowers from their plastic pots and put them into the planter.
4. Filled in the holes with additional potting soil.
5. Watered the flowers thoroughly.
If you have already established flowers, you can just add the plant food in a ring around the plant (according to package directions).
I’ll be back later this summer to show you how the flowers grow and share my progress toward an awesome garden!