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How to Start a Family Garden

No matter the age of your children, gardening is a fantastic family activity. It gets everyone outdoors, teaches very practical skills and illustrates lessons on patience and the importance of the environment. Plus, there is something so satisfying in nurturing a living thing and watching it grow – not to mention the excitement of the harvest! Here are a few things to consider when starting a family garden of your own.

Where to Grow.

If you have the space in your yard, you want to look for a sunny spot that be easy to water. But, you don’t need a big backyard to grow a garden. Container gardens are a simple way to get started quickly and work in just about any size space. You can also choose to take part in a community garden. These often have the added benefit of providing some basic supplies, too. Cameron Hospital has a community garden right around the corner from our hospital.

What to Grow.

Around here, it seems like just about everyone grows tomatoes, but there are lots of choices – including flowers. If you’re an inexperienced gardener, you might want to start with easy to grow choices such as cucumbers, lettuce, squash and you guessed it – tomatoes! Pumpkins and sunflowers are fun choices because of their size and quick growth. If you’re not sure what to choose, make a family trip to a local greenhouse to get some ideas.

Ask the Experts.

Whether you look online, ask your friends or head to the local greenhouse, there are many, many resources for novice gardeners. Just remember to keep it simple so everyone gets the most out of your family garden.

Have Fun!

Getting your hands dirty is fun and therapeutic. So get in there and enjoy it. Keep interest high by enlisting everyone’s help, letting kids get dirty in the process and encourage them to do things on their own so they take ownership. Who knows…you might cultivate a life-long love of gardening in your children. 

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