A raised bed can define a child's area. Now you can add a few more things. Do keep the space small and simple. A good rule of thumb is one square foot of garden for each year. Your 4-year-old can tend a 2' by 2' foot garden. Your 6-year-old should do fine with a 2' by 3' or 1' by 6' patch.
a small veggie garden
Gardening teaching kids about soil and plants. You can add other lessons like "what's a good bug?" or "which plants like to be friend?"
First, cultivate the soil. That means you remove all the weeds and break up the dirt until it's nice and soft. Plants like soft dirt. It's easy for their roots to grow.
Now, form a neat row of dirt piled just a bit higher than the ground. You can enclose the raised bed with wood or bricks. Raising the garden a few inches gives plants more space for their roots and allows the water to drain. Plants don't like to leave their feet in the water.
Next, amend your soil. You can make the dirt better by adding compost. Last year you might have put the old plants, leaves and food scraps in a pile. Over the months, bacteria ate the old plants and leftovers and left behind food for the new plants. If you didn't make a compost pile, you can buy bags at the nursery. Stir the dirt and compost together. Now you're ready to add seeds or plants. You might give the soil a boost with castings from your
Start with a few varieties that grow quickly like radishes, carrots, beans, pod peas and onions. Tomato plants add instant satisfaction. Although slow to mature, the blossoms and little tomatoes set on quickly. Draw a row with a hoe and have your child add seeds, spaced 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Cover and pat them down, marking the ends of each row. Plant onion sets 3 to 4" apart.
☸ Kid tip: Did you plant beans out in your garden? Save two seeds. Set those on a damp paper towel. Place the towel along the side of a glass jar so you can see the seeds. Add about 1/4" water to the bottom. Now set your inside garden by a window. Check every day. If the towel is dry, add another 1/4" water. In just a few days you'll notice your beans begin to germinate. They split, then send down roots, and finally leaves grow. Your seeds outside will be doing the same thing! Now you can see what's happening without digging up your plants. Because outdoors is cooler, you garden might lag a day or two behind your jar garden.
Garden etiquette: Even toddlers can learn the "playground rules" of the garden, such as where to walk. Other chores a tiny tot can take on include watering from a small watering can and holding the basket while you add the tomatoes. They're apt to be quite proficient at sampling that same tomato or a fresh green bean.
Watering: Depending on your natural rainfall and temperature, your child might need to water every day or as infrequently as once every couple weeks. Which do you think would most appeal to your gardener -- a set of ditches, a watering pot or a sprinkler?
Weeding and chores: At first kids tend to play in a garden, grazing on produce, exploring and digging. With their own small space and a bit of encouragement, the daily trek to the garden becomes a time of tending. Your child's growing two gardens. One you can see through the window. The other's growing inside -- patience and stick-to-it-iveness!
Your garden's in and thriving. Are you ready for a harvest party!