Spring is in full force, and now is the time to see life burst out before our eyes. Take some time to see the changes happening around you. Or better yet, start a garden of your own to grow.
When starting your own garden, make sure to wait until the last frost has passed before putting any seeds into the soil. Spring has been a little slow to start this year, so May still gives you plenty of time to dig in.
Step 1: Decide what you want to plant
Will this be a vegetable garden? Do you want flowers that will only grow for one year? These are called annuals. Maybe you want a garden with perennial flowers that will come back year after year. Or perhaps you want a garden that will attract butterflies. Should everything in your garden be pink? Or do you want to mash up herbs and vegetables with flowers? The sky’s the limit, and what you plant is totally up to you!
Step 2: Find your space
This is where you must think about your reality. Do you have a yard? Where will your adults let you dig? Do you have a sunny patch or only shade? Pick out an area for your garden. It is better to start small and then build on it next year. You can take over a corner of a corner your adults already have started. Or you can create a completely new space in your lawn. We suggest blocking off the area with stakes to see the shape before digging. Don’t forget that your garden does not have to be square. Why not make a circle garden or a triangle?
Don’t worry if you don’t have a yard. This is the perfect opportunity for a container garden that can sit on a deck, balcony or by a window inside. You can use planting pots or get creative with old dishes or peanut butter jars. Keep in mind that it is nice to have a hole in the bottom of your pot to let water drain out. We don’t want to flood the plants. In that case, you will also need something like a plate to catch the water. You don’t want to ruin your furniture.
Step 3: Prep your soil
Grab a trowel, or a garden shovel, and dig out your garden. Loosen up the soil a little bit and break up big clumps. While you are there, say hi to any soil critters like earthworms. They will make your ground — and your plants — healthier. If you’re using containers, you can get soil from the ground or use potting soil.
Step 4: Plant!
Are you using seeds or starting with young plants called seedlings or starts? Either way, pay attention to the instructions that tell you how deep to plant. Create a hole and place your plant or seed in it. Gently cover with soil, then water.
Step 5: Label your plants
This step is optional, but it is nice to remember what you have! Either use the tag that came with your plant or create your own label.
Step 6: Take care of your garden
Plants are living things and might need some care. Check every day or so to make sure there is enough moisture in the soil. Is it too dry? Should you water today? Are there plants you don’t want in your garden? Then you should pull the weeds. A weed is only a plant that grows where you don’t want it, so if you like it, leave it!
Step 7: Enjoy!
Watch your garden grow and take pride in your accomplishments! Maybe you want to take it a step further and record how your plants are doing each week throughout the spring and summer. What worked best? Was there a plant that struggled? What should you try next year?
Not a gardener?
If you're not a gardener, that’s OK. You can still appreciate how all the plants are growing and changing all around you. Maybe you want to document the change over the course of two weeks with pictures. Or you could keep a journal to record all the growth. Perhaps just notice all the change that happens outside every day at recess or while out playing at the park or going for a walk with your family.
Whether you are a gardener or just appreciate the changes that happen in spring, this is a special time of year. Don’t forget to enjoy all the growth!
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