Families that grow together, stay together. Or at least, there are many benefits to family gardening. Gardening — especially when young kids do it with trusted adults — is hugely educational, imparts understandings of responsibility and accountability, and increases self-esteem.
More importantly, family gardening is simply fun. It’s a way to create new memories together, share priorities and activities, spend time together and promote communication between family members.
Here are 5 tips to begin your family gardening journey.
1. Start in Containers
It may feel like a cop out, but container gardening is a very wise choice for family gardening—especially if you or your young ones are a bit inexperienced. You’ll save water, it’s easier to curate the perfect environment for your specific crop (versus a huge plot of land), and there will be fewer pest issues. Plus, you can move containers around to suit your patio fancy. It’s convenient and equally successful as growing in a plot of land.
Our grow bags and inbox of herbs are wonderful and easy to set up on your patio or porch. If that’s not an option, cut off the tops of milk jugs for an herb garden or grow a flower garden in various pots.
2. Involve the Entire Family From the Beginning
Your inclination with kids might be to wait until the harvest or “the fun part” to involve them. The reality is, the joy of growing is the process! Involve your entire family from the beginning. Let young ones help you choose your seeds. Have the whole family plant with you. Then, give each family member responsibility. The benefits of family gardening appear best when you garden together. So, get out in the sun together, get your hands in the dirt together, and create memories.
3. Plant Food
Gardening of all kinds is beneficial. At Gardenuity, we’re partial to growing things you can eat. There’s a satisfaction to a vegetable or herb garden that can’t be topped because the harvest is so rewarding — especially with kids around. Kids will find a special excitement in pulling a carrot out of the dirt or picking a cherry tomato off the vine.
When you grow fresh eats, family gardening becomes a way to accept a value mission together. You’ll be educating the entire family on the whole earth-to-table process, consciously choosing a more sustainable lifestyle together, and eating fresher together. Ultimately, you’ll be developing values together.
4. Grow Easy Things
Grow everything. But, if you’re family gardening (and especially if you’re growing for the first time), it’s best to choose simple crops that you’re more likely to succeed with. The best crops to grow with children are things that germinate quickly and produce big, but with minimal upkeep. Garlic and radishes are our favorites for family gardening — they’re easy to grow and produce quickly. Carrots and cherry tomatoes are also very satisfying for young ones!
5. End the Season with a Party
There’s nothing more satisfying than harvesting and eating something that you grew — unless it’s doing it with loved ones. When we said to keep the family involved during the entire process, we meant it. And that includes harvesting, storing, cooking, eating, and socializing. Bring friends over and brag about your children’s part in your family garden or dream about the special date night you’ll have with your ripe tomatoes.
Families that grow together, stay together because they’re families that spend time together! So don’t let that quality time disappear after the harvest.