Grow Together in a Garden That Works for Kids and Parents, Too

A well-planned backyard garden in north Georgia offers ideas and inspiration for any parent looking to cultivate a love of growing and tending plants in their children.

July 29, 2020

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Growing Up Green

To teach daughters Grace and River the basics of gardening, the Petersons invested in an affordable, lightweight and easy-to-assemble greenhouse located just steps from their kitchen. Whether they're collecting worms for the gardening beds or keeping potted flowers watered, the entire family enjoys playing in the dirt.

Get the Kids Involved

Parents Robert and Tiffany Peterson introduced gardening to their daughters when each turned 3 years old. Involving the entire family is a great way to ensure that quality time spent outdoors will yield results beyond just the harvest.

Pick Pint-Sized Garden Supplies

Consider having separate gardening essentials for parents and kids. Stick with metal and wood trowels for grownups and keep things safe with plastic kid-sized options for little gardeners.

See More: The 10 Best Kits + Tools to Get Kids Hooked on Gardening

Choose Lightweight Pots

As you start to get kids interested in greenhouses and gardening, be sure to mix in some lightweight, indestructible plastic pots with your higher-end ceramic or clay styles. This will make it easier for little hands to move plants around and also give parents the peace of mind that nothing will break or shatter.

Create a Watering Schedule

Help keep the entire family on task with a watering schedule for your garden. This will help add a sense of responsibility for the kids (and the parents!) and ensure that plants survive the warmer months.

Get a Nice Nozzle

For the most efficient watering, invest in a heavy-duty nozzle with multiple settings. The shower setting is ideal for kids since it's lighter in pressure and creates a wide stream circumference.

Water Wisely

Be efficient with the watering of your planting beds. Early morning before the sun comes up or early evening as the sun starts to fade are ideal so the water will seep into the roots and beds without being dried out by the sun itself.

Look for Worms

To help maintain the soil, both Grace and River search the yard high and low for worms they can relocate from the lawn and into the fresh planting beds.

Learn More: How to Compost With Worms

Make Popsicle Stick Markers

Keep plants and veggies easily identifiable with upcycled popsicle sticks. Use a marker to write down the species, then stick it into the soil.

Foster a Love of Bugs

Encourage kids to have fun with friendly critters with a bug tent. As they tend to plants and flowers, kids can stick little friends inside the tent along with fresh greenery to perch on. Holes added to the roof or sides help with proper airflow and ventilation.

Good Bugs and Bad Bugs

Teach your kids about the differences between insects that keep gardens healthy and those that can be a nuisance. Many caterpillars and beetles that harm plants and flowers can be collected into the bug houses and relocated away from the gardening beds.

Check Veggies Daily

It helps to check vegetable plants daily — look for new growth and try to spot any potential pests or diseases before they take over.

Add Some Whimsy

A fairy garden is always a favorite for kids.

See More: 23 Fairy Garden Flowers and Plants

Learn to Compost

Keep things eco-friendly by introducing a composting station in your kitchen. Kids can then use the contents to aid in adding nutrients into the garden.

Complete the Cycle

As kids learn the ins and outs of composting, encourage them to add nutrients by taking the finished compost out to the beds and mixing it into the soil.

Bring On the Bees

Attract pollinators to the garden with a pollinator house.

See More: Make a Pollinator House

Wash Up Outside

Keep everyone clean and disinfected with hand-washing stations installed along exterior walls. These are made of lightweight plastic and hook up to a hose for use similar to a plumbed sink.

Install a Rain Barrel

The Petersons lowered their water bill by reusing rainwater collected from the roof runoff and funneled into a rain barrel. Grace and River love filling their watering cans using a hose run from the rain barrel.

Build a Flower Stand

To encourage both girls to have fun with their gardening, Robert and Tiffany built them a makeshift flower stand (also sometimes changed up to a lemonade stand) made from pallet wood and wooden baskets fastened together as a base.

See More: How to Build a Perfectly Portable Lemonade Stand

Farmhouse Fencing

To add cohesiveness to their enormous backyard, the Petersons installed a classic farmhouse style fence around the entire property which also helps keep deer from getting into their planter beds.

Soften the Look

Tiffany positions plants around the perimeter of the fence before planting. The plants will help make the new fence look as though it's always been there.

Go Beyond With a Greenhouse

A simple, ready-made greenhouse extends the Peterson family's gardening efforts year-round.

Solid Surface

Before assembling a ready-made greenhouse, make sure the surface in your yard is level. For theirs, the Petersons installed 12 x 12-inch pavers on top of a bed of sand for a perfect fit.

Control Humidity

When choosing the right DIY greenhouse for your yard, it's important to go with ones with secure door latches to help lock in humidity and moisture, two elements necessary for plants to thrive inside.

Make It Easy to Maintain

Inside your greenhouse, stick with shelves and vessels that are low maintenance and easy to keep clean and tidy with a garden hose and heavy-duty nozzle.

Provide Ventilation

A latched window on the roof of the greenhouse allows for proper ventilation as needed. It's so integrated into the overall look that when it's closed, it simply disappears.

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