GOAL: Learn the basic concepts of gardening and how plants grow
The ADVENTURE: Plant some flower (or other) seed starts and watch them grow into starts
The natural reward will come as you see the seed you planted break through the soil and begin to grow.
Let your child help pick out the seeds to plant. Be sure you plant fresh, quality seeds so that they will have a positive experience.
Be sure to acknowledge the ongoing work it takes to help the seed sprout-- watering, sunshine, and ultimately transplanting into the ground.
Spring is just around the corner, and it's time to start looking forward to the spring season. Family gardening is a great way to spend time together as a family, a well as a good way to learn the law of the harvest, that is so applicable in all areas of life!
When planning what you will plant in your family garden, it’s good to know the zone you live in to determine which flowers grow as perennials (those that grow back every year) in your area and which are considered annuals (those that require planting every year). You can find this information on the USDA site for Hardiness Zones.
Seeds can be started inside and set in a sunny window. When the weather is nicer you can move those plant starts outside. You will want to keep the soil moist, but not wet and follow the instructions on the seed package for proper germination of the seedling.
Now is a great time to pull out seed catalogs and start planning your next flower garden.
If you live in a warmer climate you can get out the trowel and the garden gloves and go straight to turning over the new soil. Sow some new seeds, bulbs or plants and nurture those blossoms into a brilliant blaze for the whole neighborhood to enjoy.
If you are in colder weather, pull out the soil and small pots. You can even use empty egg cartons, empty yogurt cups, or other supplies you have around the house.
Here are some tips for starting a flower garden:
- Start with a potted garden. If you aren’t ready to tear up a patch of lawn, this is a good way to go. They do require more watering, but less care overall.
- Select plants that grow well in your spot. Some plants grow well in the shade and others prefer the sun. Others love both! Be sure you know what spot you are planting in and choose flowers that are a good match. This information is available on the seed packets.
- Did you know that gardeners who prefer to plant perennial gardens have to thin their flower beds every couple of years? They also like to share the extra bulbs and seeds with those who are new to gardening, so if you know someone with a green thumb, you may want to reach out to them and ask if they have, or will have, starts to share. You might get to enjoy not only some free plants, but also advice and a budding friendship!
- Local greenhouses stock plants that grow well in your area. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions and shop there frequently.
Ready to take this adventure to the next level?
As mentioned above, gardeners who prefer to plant perennial gardens have to thin their flower beds every couple of years? They also like to share the extra bulbs and seeds with those who are new to gardening.
Take this Adventure to a neighborhood level by organizing a Spring Plant Exchange. Here are some important steps to take:
- Identify people in the neighborhood who may have starts to share. This will usually be those that are known for keeping beautiful gardens year after year.
- Determine a way to let others in the neighborhood know that the new starts are available, OR
- You may want to plan a specific day and event for everyone to come together to share the starts. There could be pros and cons to this. Be sure to ask your seed starter donors for information and recommendations about the plants they have available.
- You may also want to offer to coordinate an event where your family could take some of the starts available and plant them for elderly neighbors and those who can't plant them on their own.
What other ideas do you have for this Adventure that could make a positive difference in your neighborhood?
by Happy Plant A Flower Day!