Developing Good Gardening Habits

Photo by WordSwag

Developing Good Gardening Habits: An activity for children of all ages. With spring planting comes the dream of bountiful harvests of delicious fruits and veggies. And, while God did design each seed to be a miracle in itself, it does require more than just planting the seed to make your harvest dreams a reality. Gardening holds a valuable lesson for us all; that for dreams to become a reality, ordinary, consistent (habitual) work, on the part of the dreamer, must be done. To get started building good gardening habits you need to first identify the tasks in the garden that need to become habits. This activity will help you create a to do list for your garden. The tasks (or chores) on the to do list will then, with time and effort, become second nature to you.

  • Supplies:
    • Garden Journal
    • Watch with an alarm or phone with a reminder setting
    • Willingness to start new habits
  • With your child, sit down and list all of the things a plant needs to survive. Here are some examples:
    • Sunlight
    • Water
    • Nutrients
    • Room to grow
    • Etc.
  • Now list the things that can kill a plant in your garden. Here are some examples:
    • Pests (more on this in May’s lesson)
    • Too little water
    • Too much water
    • Weeds
    • Etc.
  • Now list the things you can do each day to encourage your plants to grow and to prevent them from dying. Use what you have already learned and common sense in making your list. Here are some examples:
    • Check the soil around each plants for moisture
      • If too wet, water less
      • If too dry, water
      • If they dry out too quickly add a layer of mulch to hold in moisture
    • Check for weeds
      • Pull them up when you see them
      • Or put your garden on a weeding rotation to make sure each bed gets attention
    • Check for rodent pests
      • Set traps if evidence is seen
    • Check for leaf pests
      • Spray with appropriate organic treatment if detected.
    • Check overall look of the plant
      • If it looks healthy, yay!
      • If is looks wilted. or yellow, or full of holes, or sick in some other way, investigate further
        • Look up pests specific to that plant
        • Look up what nutrient deficiencies to that plant
    • Check of overgrowth
      • If your plants need pruning during the growing season (like tomatoes and basil) make a schedule to stay on top if it.
    • Check for ripeness!
      • If your plant/fruit is ready to eat plan a meal around it and pick it soon (or just eat it on the spot). It’s very disappointing to find a fruit or vegetable that has gone bad in your garden when it could have been enjoyed a few days earlier.
      • If your plant/fruit is almost ready make a mental (or physical) note of it and make sure to check on it consistently till it’s ripe.
  • Now that you have your list you can turn it into your preferred form of a chore chart or to do list
  • Put it into practice
    • To get started you may want to set a daily alarm on your watch or phone to help remind you to do your daily garden chores
    • Keep using your reminder system until the chores have become habits.