7 Projects to Teach Your Child about Sustainable Gardening
Gardening is a summer activity the whole family can participate in. It’s also a great way to introduce your child to sustainable gardening practices that benefit the environment. Here are some ideas to get you and your child started as spring brings the warm weather and rain your garden will need.
Garden Recycling Ideas
Repurposing items can be one way to include sustainable practices in your garden. Making container planters from household items can bring out the creative side in you and your family.
1. Have an old tool kit lying around the house that you’ve been meaning to replace? After emptying the toolbox, grab the drill and make a few holes in the bottom before adding the soil.
2. An old kitchen strainer with small holes is nearly ready-made to be a planter. Just have your child line the bottom of the strainer with a few coffee filters to hold the soil in the container. After that, you’re ready to start planting.
3. Baskets make ideal planters because of their small outlets for water. You can even have your child paint his or her basket with outdoor paint for a fun, personal touch.
4. Old shoes can be converted into outdoor planters in a few simple steps. Click the image below for a fun shoe planter how-to.
Rain barrels can be used to trap and store rainwater for garden watering. This helps the environment by reducing the energy used to supply hose water and also reducing the amount of water wasted, which can ultimately reduce your water bill. While you can choose to purchase a rain barrel, putting together a homemade barrel with your child is a great way to stay busy during summer break.
5. Homemade rain barrels can be made simply by using an old garbage bin and attaching a tap to a small hole at the bottom for easy access to the collected water. Some rain barrels can be placed directly next to your home to collect water straight from the roof’s gutter system as well. Take a look at these DIY rain barrel ideas for inspiration. Add a creative touch to your barrel by letting your child paint a rain-themed picture on the outside.
Native Plant Gardening
6. Growing plants that are local to your area can save energy because they require fewer resources to thrive in your garden. Native plants have adapted to the conditions of your specific area, which means less watering. In most cases, local plants will not require purchasing special soils.
Before you pick your plants, get to know the growing conditions in your area. Then, choose where you’d like to grow your garden and research native plants that do well in your local growing conditions. Write down the plants you and your child would like to grow. Take the list with you when you visit your neighborhood garden center.
What do you and your family generally do with your egg shells, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds? What about your grass clippings and shrub trimmings? Keep these biodegradable substances out of the landfill and mix them into your garden soil by creating a compost pile.
7. While a pile is generally the easiest compost option, creating a composting bin for smaller areas is another simple option. Research your choices and consider the space you have available. When your compost starts to smell like earth and crumbles in your hand, you and your child can use it for garden topsoil, mix it with potting soil, and more.
Do you and your family participate in any sustainable practices? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!