Activities For Kids – Gardening Tips

how to garden for kids

Kids could do with some gardening tips from elders when playing outdoors, in mud. Take advantage of this fact and nurture in them, a deep love for plants, trees and nature. Teach kids all about planting a garden with seeds and saplings. Teach them a thing or two about landscaping with the help of beautiful miniature gardens.

Activities For Kids - gardening tips

Photo Credits: Woodleywonderworks

Gardening Tips For Kids

Garden Supplies

Get going with some basic garden supplies. You will need a spade, hand gloves, spray bottle, watering can, potting mix, seeds or saplings. Buy them from your local garden store or plant nursery.

Gardening Basics For Kids

Pick a nice sunny spot in your garden that is easy to bring water to. In case you do not have a garden, select a sunny spot by a window or in your balcony, where you can place your plant pot. Make sure your plant does not get too much of exposure from the sun. A spot facing south is the best. Let your child wear hand gloves. Next, teach him to prepare a potting mix with 1/3 parts compost , 1/3 parts of garden topsoil and 1/3 parts sand. This potting mix is healthy for plants and provides good drainage. Take a plant pot with holes at the bottom. Add your potting soil to this pot. Leave an inch of space from the top of the planter. Plant seeds or a saplings in this potting mix. Pour adequate water. Let kids learn more on self watering planters.

Green Gardening Tips

Reuse old plastic containers or small, old earthen pots with holes at the bottom, as planters. Use Organic fertilizers and  effective home made pesticides for gardens.  Inform your kids of the benefits of organic fertilizers and pesticides over chemical ones.

Landscaping With Miniature Gardens

gardening tips for kids - landscaping

Photo Credits: anacik

miniature gardens kids

Photo Credits:gregor_y

This is one of the top gardening tips that can teach kids how to landscape. Teach kids how to build miniature gardens. Use old wooden boxes, desk drawers, plastic trays or crates for the flower bed. Fill this with well drained potting soil. Plant saplings or seeds of flowering plants, wheat grass or ornamental plants. Allow kids to place attractive pebbles, stones and other embellishments to decorate and create pretty borders for this garden. A miniature garden is a great idea for small urban spaces where kids can build one in their balcony or even place it on wall stands. It is also an interesting DIY project for kids.

Garden Maintenance

Do not let your child get away, once he plants the saplings. Garden maintenance is an equally important gardening tip. Let kids use organic pesticides in spray bottles to keep insects and pests at bay. Make your own organic pesticide at home by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of Neem oil to one liter of warm water. Use a spray bottle to spray this pesticide on plants. Teach kids to add fertilizers to the soil in correct proportions, periodically, along with pruning and weeding, if necessary. Let kids maintain a plant growth chart. Make plant maintenance work, an attractive activity, by rewarding kids with something they like.

Benefits Of Gardening For Kids

Gardening is therapeutic in nature. It heals emotional wounds and inculcates patience in kids. These gardening tips for kids teach scientific facts and contribute to the overall development of your child.

Organic pesticides – Homemade pesticides for small gardens

organic pesticides, homemade pesticides

Organic pesticides are the best alternatives to harmful chemical pesticides for small gardens. Gardening in urban spaces means either you have a rooftop garden, a simple balcony garden, planters in your window sill  or indoor plants.  These pesticides are very effective in removing a scourge of garden pests and insects.

organic pesticides, homemade pesticides

Check out these super inexpensive and natural organic pesticides to bust harmful pests and insects in your home garden and indoor plants.

DIY – Organic Pesticides

Garlic-Onion-Pepper spray

Finely chop 6 cloves of  garlic along with a small onion. Add a liter of warm water. Keep it aside for 3-4 hours. Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one teaspoon of liquid soap. Mix well, strain and use as an insect repellent spray. Make sure you do not add liquid detergent. It must be liquid soap – You can use any liquid hand wash for the task.This will last you for a week, if refrigerated. Garlic – Onion – Pepper organic pesticide spray is an excellent remedy for aphids, flea beetles, caterpillars and other sucking/chewing insects.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a very powerful organic pesticide and repellent. When used alone, it does ward off pests but the plants get all oily. So mix 8ml neem oil and 5 ml liquid soap with 1 liter of warm water. Shake the spray bottle well. Spray this all over the plants. Neem oil is an excellent remedy for getting rid of spider mites, mealy bugs and practically most of the plant pests.

Basil Tea

Boil 1 cup of fresh basil (Tulsi leaves) in half a  liter  of water. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid soap to this mixture. Spray this on the plants. This acts as an excellent homemade pesticide  for aphids.

Epsom Salt

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in  1/2 a liter of water. Spray this on the plants. Epsom salt does not harm the plants. It contains magnesium which is nutritious for the plants. This is an organic pesticide that also acts as a nutrient for the soil.

Baking soda spray

Mix together 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon oil and 2 liters of warm water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on the plants. Baking soda gets rid of fungal infections of plants. Baking soda spray must be used regularly till the fungal infection is gone completely. The mixture has to be made fresh for every use.

Eucalyptus Oil

Put a  few drops of Eucalyptus oil on the affected areas of plants. It drives insects and pests away immediately. Eucalyptus oil is great for flies, slugs and aphids.

Dried Chrysanthemum flowers

Chrysanthemum flowers(guldaudi or chandramallika in hindi) have a natural pest repellent called pyrethrum. Pyrethrum plays havoc with the nervous system of insects. Boil 50 grams of  dried  chrysanthemum flowers in half a liter of water. Cool, strain and use as a spray. This can be used for a week. This homemade pesticide spray kills mosquito larvae breeding in your home garden or in the water collectors placed under flower pots.

Organic pesticides are the best for home gardens and indoor plants, especially in urban areas. They can be easily made at home, give instant results and come sans the harmful effects of chemical pesticides.

Note: For making small amounts of organic pesticides at home, just halve the proportions mentioned above.

 

How to grow ginger – top tips

Growing ginger in a pot is a great idea for urban gardening. You can grow ginger root with minimum resources in your balcony or roof gardens. All you need is a plant container and some rich potting soil which is loose and does not become solid over time. Do not use any pesticides or artificial fertilizers and you can grow organic ginger root in your garden.

grow ginger root

Tips to grow ginger

Fill a 12″ wide and 10″ deep plant pot with rich potting soil. Place a firm and healthy piece of ginger  just below the surface of the soil.  Place the pot in a sunny place. Cool temperature will result in poor growth. Pour less water initially before the shoots begin to appear. Use boiled and cooled,strained, plain black tea water to water the ginger plant. Tea is an excellent organic fertilizer for plants.

In 4-6 months, the ginger plant grows 2-4 feet tall. When the leaves begin to wilt and dry, it is time to dig out the ginger root.The ginger plant in the picture is mature and the leaves have started drying. Cut the wilted leaves. Then dig out the ginger root with a garden spade.
grow ginger root

Clean and wash the ginger. Place the washed pieces in the sun to dry.

grow ginger root
The best part is, it was planted by my little boy. He was so happy to harvest his very own organically grown ginger. So you see, this is an ideal  DIY organic gardening project for kids.

Health benefits of ginger
Ginger aids digestion. Hot ginger tea is a good remedy for cold and flu. It boosts immunity and is a powerful anti-oxidant. It lowers blood cholesterol levels and is good for bowel disorders. It also relieves headaches due to indigestion, morning sickness and eases asthma symptoms if taken regularly.

Health benefits of Indian Spices