It's snowing outside, 15 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel even colder. Why am I talking about gardening-right? Why am I talking about gardening-right? This is the PERFECT time to start planning your spring garden! Get your children involved too!
Gardening with children can have so many benefits. They learn where their food comes from. When asked where their food really comes from, many children state "from the grocery store!" Watching plants grow and tending to them from seed to the table is impressive, and children are very proud of what they can grow!
Eating more produce is another benefit of gardening, as children are more likely to eat what they grow! If they have planted and watered and weeded, they are more likely to try lettuce, beets, and green beans. More fruits and vegetables eaten by your child equal a healthier child!
Gardening is exercise and relaxation. Gardening gets all of you outside and moving—lifting, bending, pulling, and planting. It is also very relaxing. Quietly pulling weeds or watering may calm a busy day!
Now you're thinking, I have no room for a big garden. Maybe not but how about container gardening? Grow a tomato plant in a pot or some fresh herbs. Lettuce can even be grown in a long container. Have your child go to the local home and garden center with you to pick out packets seeds. If you have a bigger garden, you can start seeds indoors now to transplant outside later. So start thinking about your spring garden. The worst thing that will happen is that you have lots of produce to share with your friends and neighbors!
The UNL Extension Horticulture experts have more resources for successful gardening!
Cindy Brison, MS, RDUNL Extension Educator