Starting a Garden

Have you ever thought about starting your own garden? Gardening is an exciting way to educate children on the process of life. It teaches them patience, responsibility, and shows them where our food comes from. Even in Arizona, growing in season veggies can be simple, easy and fun.

Chose your garden

Most of us don’t have the ideal space to grow our own vegetables, but do not let that stop you! Pick your garden depending on how much space is available and how many items you wish to grow. Choose a container with holes in the bottom to allow for water to flow through. If your container does not already come with holes, poke them yourself or place beads at the bottom. This prevents the roots from sitting in water causing them to rot.

  • Planter pot
  • Mason jar
  • Egg carton
  • Hollowed out lemon or orange

Add your potting soil

Explain to your child the importance and purpose of soil to a seed. It is a complex mix of minerals, rocks, air, water, and nutrients that feeds the seed so it can grow to be healthy. Similar to what children need to be strong and healthy!

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Planting the seed

Discuss with your child what vegetables are in season and let them choose what they want to grow. This is the best time in the gardening process to let your child to get hands on fun! Have them read and follow the directions on the back of the seed packet, guiding them along the way.

Chose seasonal vegetables

  • Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. They harvest quickly and require minimal space. This is a great option if you chose to use an egg carton or hallowed lemon for your garden. Harvest time: 40-60 days
  • Carrots are a great vegetable to grow in Arizona. They require deep soil (make sure your garden has the proper depth) for growth but sprout quickly. Teach you child how to easily identify a ripe carrot from its bright orange color. Harvest time: 60-100 days
  • Green beans are a great option for new gardeners and children. They can thrive with little maintenance and sprout rather quickly. Harvest time: 60-90days

Other in season vegetables

Veggie Harvest Plant your Seed
Beets 60-80 days September-March
Bok Choy 60-80 days August-February
Kale 60-90 days September- December
Green Onions 90-100days August- April
Peas 60-120 days September- February
Spinach 40-90 days September- February

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Harvesting

The best part of the gardening process has arrived! After all the work, learning and patients- the tiny little seed sprouts into a living, growing plant. Discuss ripeness, size, color, shape and when to pick your veggie.

Don’t forget! As with any living thing, a garden takes maintenance and care.

  • Whether inside or out, make sure your garden is receiving enough light
  • Check soil daily- it should feel damp, not wet or dry.

Stay tuned for future blogs on garden updates, crafts and activities!

Do you have any gardening tips to share? What would you be interested in learning more about?

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