As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. So it’s time to dig in and grow a family garden.
Start sprouting your gardening ideas at the National Gardening Association’s kids’ site, www.kidsgardening.com. It’s the perfect place for families, homeschoolers and teachers to start seeding their garden dreams with kids’ gardening FAQs, articles on designing a garden and even fund-raising ideas for school gardens. Click on the “Parents Primer” link for 10 family gardening articles, including thematic gardens, gardening in a small space and gardening with children of any age. Keep growing by signing up for the free Kids Gardening e-mail newsletter.
Looking for something other than a traditional vegetable or typical flower garden? Plant a butterfly garden instead. Wing it to the American Horticultural Society’s site, www.ahs.org/youth_gardening/kids_grow.htm, for tips on how to start and maintain a butterfly-attracting garden. You’ll help feed butterflies, give them a place to lay their eggs, feed the caterpillars that are born and provide a haven for them to become chrysalises. When the caterpillars emerge, you’ll have new beautiful butterflies to populate your garden.
Gardens have a tough time blossoming without fertilizer. Go organic and have the kids create natural compost. It’s really simple, especially after you watch the step-by-step slide show featuring four young gardening girls building and nurturing a compost bin at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/sustainable/slidesets/kidscompost/cover.html. The Agricultural Horticulture Network at the Texas A & M University system created the show and maintains a KinderGARDEN Web page at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/kindergarden/kinder.htm
Coloring pages are always a fun way to re-enforce concepts, and the Ames True Temper gardening tool company offers printable veggies, flowers and friendly garden bugs at www.ames.com/kids/coloringbook. At Kids Turn Central, www.kidsturncentral.com/coloring/gardencolor.htm, you’ll find some cartoon-type garden characters to color, too Happy hoeing!