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DIY Garden Beds for Kids, and involving kids in gardening

My family loves gardening together.  Well, there is dirt involved, so the boys are in.  It’s also a chance for us to spend time together outdoors, teaches our children about life cycles and the slow process of growing, hard work and reduces our grocery bill by providing us meals and ready made snacks.

And since making garden boxes, our gardening has been fruitful!

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How to Make your own Garden Boxes 

DIY Garden Box Construction is very simple!  You can create customized garden boxes in any size or shape, using nice cedar or redwood you purchase from a lumber store, or just some scrap wood, like us. #free  If it’s your first garden box, you may want to make a rectangle, cutting opposite sides to be the same length.

Nestled in the corner, add the bracing piece.  Cut them the same height as you want your garden box.  The purpose it to keep the wood secure, and to screw the side pieces into them, as Andrew is doing in this photo.IMG_2976

Depending on how high you want your garden box, you could be done!  If you have issues with gophers or underground pests, you may want to staple wiring to cover the opening that will sit on the ground to keep the pests out of your good food.IMG_2981

 

For our kid’s garden boxes, we made them smaller in diameter, but taller in height to keep the temptation of climbing in low(er) 😉  It serves as an extra barrier of physical protect for little seedlings, or mature plants with food.

Next, fill with soil.  We chose soil from a supply center where they can fill the back of our truck instead of soil from bags.  We get the soil/compost mix.

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Well, look at you!  You’re almost done!!

Pick out and plant your seeds!   A good tip to make caring for your garden as easy and low work as possible is to cover your garden with mulch.  We use straw or sawdust (From our chicken coop that is mixed with the added benefit of chicken poop, zee best fertilizer!)  That way, you won’t have to weed once your plants start growing!  I know, right?  Put up your boxes and you’re set.

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We recently set up a drip line which reduces the amount of water needed for watering, and makes the time we spend watering zero minutes.

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Ways to Make Gardening Fun for Kids!

Well, gardening is fun in general, but these have worked to get our kids excited about it.  Allow your kids to be as hands-on in the process as possible, allow mistakes.  There is a pride of ownership that children receive when they get to be part of the process in the initial stages.  Provide smaller scale tools that are actually functioning, and give them tasks in small segments so that they can feel accomplished without getting worn out.  You might be surprised at what you see them doing.

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Garden boxes are ideal for children because they are elevated and in many ways enclosed, protecting the plants as children help, play and hide around the area.  Create a space that is workable yet fun.

Plant vegetables that they chose and particularly enjoy, mixed with new varieties to try.

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Allow them to water, weed if needed and harvest.  Explain to them how plants and food grow.

You may be surprised at how much better tasting home grown veggies are, how much your kids will want to eat and eat them, and just how darn convenient it is to walk outside, instead of drive to the store.

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Your children will discover new favorite treats, my boys are favoring Beet Greens recently.  The beets remain untouched as they continue to grow, but they pick and eat their green, soft leaves.

And there you have it!  Your own garden boxes for good food, good work and family fun!

Except, you may want to remind your kids that a garden ‘bed’ isn’t necessarily for sleeping 🙂IMG_9668

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