Homeschooling and Gardening – What Your Child Can Learn and Grow in a Garden

The experience of growing a garden can help home school students learn a great deal. A garden can be very rewarding and also very frustrating. Growing a successful garden doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some things that your home school student can learn from working on a garden:

1. Practical demonstration of how plants grow – You can read all you want about plant cycles in a textbook, but until you see it happen before your eyes, it doesn’t always make sense. Maintaining a garden shows children how a seed grows into a plant and how weeds grow right along with plants. They see a demonstration of how weeds can choke out a plant if they are not properly cared for.

2. Problem solving skills – When your plant doesn’t grow or you see holes or bugs all over your plants, you need to figure out what to do. This might cause motivation for further research on how to take care of the problem.

3. Growing plants can take some patience and perseverance – Sometimes it’s hard to wait for that seed to pop out of the ground or for the fruit to appear on their plant. Sometimes those pesky weeds keep coming up and need to be pulled and pulled again. Sometimes you need to keep tending to the plant that gets bugs or diseased. Regular maintenance of weeds is required to have a successful garden.

4. Gardening can be good therapy – After working hard and maintaining a garden it can be a wonderful experience to just go out in your garden and walk around to look at the plants and the wonders of God’s creation.

5. Multiple grades can benefit – A two year old and a 100 year old person can learn from and enjoy a garden. A small child can help plant and cover seeds over with dirt along with picking a few weeds. An older child can pick quite a few more weeds and learn about how the flower turns into the harvest. All ages can help with harvesting and processing the food that was harvested.

Even children living in a city can benefit from gardening. All you need is some dirt, a seed, water and sunlight. Try some easy plants first like: carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, and many more. Sometimes maintaining a garden can teach your child much more than they would ever learn from a book. There are many benefits for both parent and student.

Container Gardening Ideas For Your Home

Many gardeners have given up on the idea of a garden because they lack space, time or lots of experience. But if growing plants is an interest of yours container gardening could be your answer. Container gardens will allow you to enjoy “playing in the dirt” without investing a lot of time or money. You can get very creative in container gardening using vegetables, decorative grasses or flowers and herbs. You can plant a container garden with any plant that would grow outside. The trick is to come up with some creative ideas for your container garden.

You should do some research at your local nursery or on the internet to choose the plants you wish to grow to help you come up with some ideas. Try to use plants that complement each other and have the same basic needs for water, air and light.

A container garden idea that has taken off recently is the landscape container. Some people plant a simple evergreen tree in a container with good drainage to place at their front door. Or you could plant an assortment of flowers for a bright and beautiful vista. If you do plant flowers, add plants that spill over the sides of the container to add more visuals and interest. What ever container gardening idea you can come up with can be placed on a deck, patio, and balcony or by the front doors. Put them somewhere that your family and friends can enjoy.

You can grow vegetables in containers but choose wisely. Vegetables like squash and pole beans need lots of space, while tomatoes need a deep pot. When you grow your own vegetables you will have tasty produce not the bland stuff that is in the grocery store. Nothing tastes better than a tomato right off the vine. There are many chefs and good home cooks that grow their own for just this reason. Don’t forget to pot some herbs, they are pretty plants and add zest to your meals.

But don’t just stick to vegetables and herbs; why not add fruit trees too? Instead of using an evergreen tree, pot a fruit tree instead. There are many dwarf varieties available that work best in pots since with pots there is less soil therefore less nutrients to draw from. If you live in a year round warm climate citrus trees are perfect. In other regions, stick to pear, apple and cherry trees. Another good container gardening idea is to grow strawberries. With strawberries climate does not matter since you can bring the container inside. Fresh strawberries are amazingly sweet and delicious. Imagine how good a bowl of fresh strawberries will be, strawberries that you have just picked.

Remember that container gardens dry out more quickly than traditional gardens. Be diligent about watering your plants if you don’t want your container gardening ideas to wither and die. Container gardens must be fertilized too. Keep a small notebook handy so you can write down the needs of your plant so you will always know when to water or feed. Keep an eye out for pests. If you find a container that has an infestation, isolate it immediately and treat it with a natural pesticide. You don’t want harsh chemicals on fruits, vegetables or herbs. A good natural pesticide recipe is:

In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.

 

So, do some research, come up with your own unique container gardening ideas, gather your materials and get to work. The fruits of your labor will be amazing.

Happy Container Gardening!

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

How To Carry Out Landscape Gardening Successfully

A garden is the first thing that attracts the eye of a visitor when they visit your home. A garden defines who you are in terms of being presentable and your level of neatness and that of your home. Neat and lovely landscape gardening turns even a dull and lifeless home into a bright and lovely paradise.

When starting a garden you should first understand what kind of a garden you need and where you are going to put it and materials necessary to start that specific garden. Any material or container may do but some materials are much easier to work with than others are. When you decide to use a container, it is advisable to use one that is compatible with the plant you want to use in your garden. When you have the right container, landscape gardening becomes effective and enjoyable.

The type of plant you want to plant will determine the location of your container. The advantage of container landscape gardening is you can put the pot wherever you think has the best condition for the plant. To get healthy flowers or vegetables, you must maintain the right level of nutrients. Crop rotation is advised as different crops use different nutrient levels. This helps in maintaining optimum soil conditions and nutrients. When choosing soil for your pot, garden soil should be avoided. Gardening experts advise that garden soil is usually heavy and may affect the roots of a plant when a pot is used.

When starting a vegetable garden you should find a good location for your garden. You should consider the size of your garden. It is best to start small then increase the size with time to accommodate more plants. The location you chose to carry out your gardening should allow plenty of sunlight, have good soil and be near a watering system.

You should also decide on what plants or vegetables to grow depending on tastes and preference of what you enjoy. You should consider crops that are supported by the soil type and the right weather conditions in your area. When you carry out landscape gardening, put the taller plants in the back and the shorter ones in front for easy access to light. Surround your garden with a fence to prevent pests from invading the garden and destroying the plants. You can use raised beds, as they tend to have better internal drainage that leads to good root health.

To have a good and presentable garden it is important to first till the soil to loosen it up to create a lovely garden. Use of insecticide, both organic and chemical to fight insects and certain diseases that are destructive to the plants in the garden is highly recommended. However, care should be taken to read and follow directions when using insecticides to avoid poisoning the plants and soil. Weeding should also be done from time to time because weeds compete for nutrients with your plants thus they can affect the general health of your plants.