- Gardening benefits families.
- Vegetables gardens produce a financial savings in the cost of food.
- Gardens help families strengthen their relationships.
- Gardens create lasting memories of planting, weeding, harvesting and canning.
- Gardening is a fitness class - aerobics for all ages.
- Gardening requires time, which provides a chance to talk about the day's events, about friends and values and future plans - all valuable topics for parents and kids.
- Gardening helps to keep children occupied during summer vacation.
- Gardening teaches children.
- There is magic in the garden.
- Food doesn't grow in tin cans.
- Valuable traits and life skills are learned, like creativity, responsibility and patience.
- Children learn the value of hard work.
- Children learn about colors and textures and how things grow.
- Children can learn about sunlight and how plants use it.
- Children learn about soil, fertilizer, and insecticides.
- Children enjoy being in nature, observing butterflies, insects, and birds, and what attracts them.
- Children are more likely to taste new foods, if they grow them.
- Children learn healthy habits as they enjoy fresh food.
- Families can take their gardening questions to the Spokane County Extension Office.
- Plant a Row for the Hungry Campaign invites gardeners to add a row to
their gardens and donate the vegetables from it to local food banks.
- Grow an Environmentally-Friendly Garden. See "Gardening" under the Environment topic.
- Offer to plow or till gardens for others in the spring (for free, or for a small fee).
- Northwest Gardener's Handbook, written by Spokane's master gardeners Pat Munts and Susan Mulvihill, focuses on plants that grow well in the Inland Northwest. In addition, they talk about fire-resistant plants and how to landscape in a region prone to wildfire, sustainable landscaping practices, and the challenges facing gardeners in our region.
- Need advice from an expert about gardening or plants? Call or visit
Spokane County's WSU Master Gardeners program. This program is staffed
by trained volunteers who provide research-based and localized answers
to questions about any plant. Advice is FREE. Click on their page
- Have your soil tested. Obtain a soil sample bag from
a reputable source, to test for Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium
(K), pH and organic matter. The cost of a soil test may range from
$30-$50. In Spokane, contact Spokane Conservation District Soil
Scientist Eric Choker, (509) 535-7274, ext. 18, or email him at
Gardening with Children
- Start a garden in a small area, so it will not be overwhelming. It can be as small or large as you want. Remember - it doesn't have to be perfect.
- Allow children to help select the food to grow.
- Start with something that the kids will see as soon as possible - like radishes or beans.
- Some of the plants children especially enjoy are cherry tomatoes and peas.
- Herbs. Introduce children to herbs.
- Teach children that some plants are poisonous. They need to know which plants are edible and which ones are not.
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