How to Create a Children’s Garden

If your children are showing an interest in the wonders of gardening, why not give them their very own plot?

Want your children to have a green thumb at an early age? Give them their very own garden

Q: One of my goals for the coming spring is to create a food garden for my young children. How I can be successful?

What’s most important is that your design approach and philosophy for a children’s garden be fun, fun, fun! Give children separate spaces to garden. Start small – a plot 90 cm by 90 cm (3 ft. by 3 ft.) is enough.

Involve children in the planning and then follow their lead. If they would rather play in the dirt or look at bugs than pull weeds, that’s OK!

Creating a Children’s Garden

Be prepared for a garden that might be dug up, replanted and reworked as children explore new ideas. Fill it with flexible elements such as fun containers, pebbles, bark and seeds. Add a safe water element to encourage play. Even a worm composter can be a fascinating addition that encourages responsibility.

Keep safety front of mind. Avoid soil contaminants and poisonous plants, and use only safe organic materials. Plus, keep any chore sessions short. Make a game of weeding, but limit it to five minutes. Use child-sized tools for planting and digging. Even spoons will work well when held with tiny fingers.

Find those teachable moments as they happen. Admire bugs, worms and birds. Lastly, ensure the garden’s success by choosing the right site and adding the appropriate soil amendments along with mulch to keep down weeds.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.