Great Ideas On Gardening With Children

Children love to be outdoors. They have a natural desire to get their hands into things and start working at it. This makes gardening an ideal activity in which they can get into. Teaching children how to garden allows them to develop a respect for the living things in nature. It allows them to see how plant live grows. Your garden can be a really rich environment for educating your children. This article will offer some advice on the best approach in starting your children in gardening.

Each child has different abilities and interests. You first have to gauge their personal interest in gardening. When you work on your garden, are they curious about what you are doing? Do they ask questions? Do they like to touch the plants? If they show interest, it is time to build upon that.

Think about what gardening activities would be appropriate for your children’s age. Do not underestimate what they can do. Even pre-schoolers can help you dig a hole and water plants with their pint-sized water can. Older children can be taught how to plant seeds or young plants properly. Children who are bigger and stronger help with transporting dirt in a wheelbarrow and making planting mounds. They can rake and prep an area to plant. Pruning back an overgrown shrub can be done by teens. There are plenty of activities for any age group when it comes to gardening.

It is a good idea to provide your children with their own sets of garden tools. Take them with you to the home center and buy them some garden gloves, a trowel, rake, long handle shovel, all in a size that is appropriate for them. Put these in their own garden bucket. They will be so proud to have their own tools, and this will make it very special for them.

In addition to their own garden gear, shop with them for seeds or plants that they would like to grow. Make this their responsibility to take of. This will help them take ownership of the project and will motivate them to their best in it.

Get some picture books and tell your young children how plants grow. Talk about the plants need for sunlight and water, and how it takes time for a seed to grow into a plant. Talk about the insects that live in your garden.

When they are outside, you will see their eyes light up as they have their own tools in hand, ready to help. Designate a small area for them to take care of, to plant the plants that they have chosen. Show them how to prepare the soil and plant the seeds or plants. Try to let them do as much on their own as possible. This is the best way for them to learn.

Gardening can be a fun and educational activity for children. Use this article to help you get your children started in the wonderful world of gardening.


Gardening Supplies For Kids

When you get your kids out in the garden you’re going to need a few supplies to get them going. It’s great if you can let them help you pick out the gardening supplies. Here are a few ideas to get you going.

Sun Hat

Everyone should wear a sun hat and sun screen. Prevent skin cancer and teach children to protect themselves early on. Boys love baseball caps and girls can wear a big floppy hat.

Gardening Gloves

Let’s face it, they rarely last more than one season. Take the kids with you and get everybody a new pair of gardening gloves. Let each child pick out their own so that their won’t be fighting later on when someone takes someone else’s gloves.

Water Can

From the time your child is 2 or 3 years old they will want their own gardening can. Start with a small one and as they get older get them a larger one. Teach them to water plants tenderly and lovingly and the plants will return a smile to them with flowers or vegetables as they mature.

Pint Sized Tools

Get your kids a set of pint sized gardening tools. It will save someone’s head from getting whacked with the long handle of the rake or shovel.

Hand Tools

Don’t forget an extra set of hand tools. Children love to help and once they see yours, they’re going to want their own. Save yourself the hassle of having to go find your hand trowel and get them their own set.

Kneeling Pad

A kneeling pad or an old cushion work great for saving little knees (and big people knees as well). Once your child sees you using one, they’re going to want their own. Save the squabbles and get them a pillow or cushion or something so that you don’t have to give yours up.

Garden Shoes

Most of us have shoes that we only wear in the garden. Why? Because if you save them for only the garden you won’t get mud all over the house or yard. Each child should have a pair of shoes specifically for the garden. This may be a pair of old rubber rain boots, old crocs, old rubber shoes that are easy to wash etc. It doesn’t matter how ratty they are as long as they are easy to rinse off and easy to slip on and off little feet.

Basket or Bucket

Lastly, you should have a basket or bucket for kids to store their gardening equipment in. Make sure that there’s plenty of room for their gloves, hat, trowel, cushion, shoes etc. Each child could decorate their own bucket or basket or simply write their name on them with indelible marker. The more you involve the kids in this decorating, the more likely they are to enjoy it. Besides, you do want to keep them occupied for the summer don’t you?

Children learn gardening skills from parents so teach your children early to enjoy gardening by making it a big deal, even if you do get everything at the second hand store.


Gardening Can Be a Very Relaxing and Beneficial Hobby

Gardening is a hobby that allows you to get in touch with the earth that we all came from. Gardening can also help a lot of people to get in touch with themselves, as they go through the cycle of growing plants, flowers and vegetables and spend a lot of time outdoors by themselves. Gardening need not be an expensive hobby, as it requires few basic things, besides a plot of land you can call your own. However, down the line, as gardeners become more enthusiastic, they may find themselves spending a fair bit of money getting in the latest gadgets and machinery, trying to grow exotic flowers and other things that do need you to spend some money.

Gardening is an enjoyable outdoor activity, and is one of the most popular form of leisure exercise, as it does take out the monotony of exercise regimes, while giving you all the benefits of a good workout. Ensure that you do all the required chores yourself. So bending down to do the weeding, turning over a garden bed, with a shovel in your hand, lugging compost, wheelbarrows and mowing with the lawnmower can be good substitutes for exercise. You of course, do cheat a bit if you go in for a mechanized lawnmower, or other means to take out the physical activity needed for gardening. An hour of gardening can burn up three hundred calories and help you to keep your wight in check.

Children find gardening a very thrilling hands-on experience. They look at the plants, flowers and vegetables that are created, with a sense of wonder. Involve your children in your gardening efforts, and you will find their involvement and excitement, something that reduces your own stress. Give them a small plot of their own, and you will find the enthusiasm that they have for this, will add to your enjoyment of gardening.

A garden can help you to create a very peaceful place around your home. This can more than help you to relax, as when you are sitting around enjoying the greenery and calmness, you have the additional satisfaction that you have done this yourself. If you find such garden chores repetitive and monotonous, alternate activities to different days. Plants are very forgiving and will rarely accuse you of neglect. Gardening is a hobby that can unite everyone, regardless of age and sex. It is a hobby that is practiced quite often by neighbors and other social acquaintances. So this gives you a topic for discussion when you meet. Much better than discussing the economy, politics, world events or other things which are more than likely to get your blood pressure up.

Garden spaces can be ideal spots for gatherings with friends and families. They will also give a different perspective to your home. Planning a garden can be one activity that can take up a fair bit of time. You tend to forget all other matters when you are doing this, and this is definitely one way to relax. Talk to experts or get some hints from other enthusiasts. The Internet can be a vast source of inspiration, that can help you to get on with your gardening and help you to take advantage of this relaxing hobby.

Home Improvement

Oil Based Finish vs. a Water-Based Finish: Which One Is Right for You?

What is an oil-based finish and how does it differ from a water-based finish? What are the pros and cons of both? We’ve addressed this topic below, so you’ll know what to do when it’s time choose a finish for your wood floors.

Pros of Oil Based Finish

An oil based finish will give the wood an amber glow.

Compared to a water based finish, oil based finishes are more cost effective. One reason oil based finishes are most cost-effective is because only 3-4 coats of finishing on average are needed to get the job done.

Oil based finishes darken with age and offer a thicker coating than a water-based finish. The thicker finish will help protect the floor from scratching, chipping and wear.

Oil-based finishes are more durable and last longer than water based finishes. Because an oil finishing is more durable, you’ll be able to go longer (3-4 years) without having to refinish the entire floor.

Cons of Oil Based Finish

Although you don’t need as many coats of an oil based finish, the drying time for each coat is longer than that of a water-based finish.

Drying time for an oil based-finish can take 12 hours or more for each coat. If you are planning to finish your floors this way, give ample time for the oil finish to dry since oil-based polyurethane is toxic when wet. The fumes from this finish can cause breathing issues, nausea and other illnesses due to the toxicity. Make sure children and pets are out of the house until each coating is fully dry. The surface will become less toxic over time.

Pros of a Water-Based Finish

A water based finish gives the wood a natural look. Compared to an oil based finish, a water based finish will appear clear when it dries.

When applied to the wood, a water based finish has a lighter odor than the oil based finish. It’s also known to be less toxic than an oil based finish.

The recommended drying time for a water based finish is far less than that of an oil finish. The drying time between each of the coats is about 2-3 hours. However, with a water based finish, you’ll need more coats (between 4 and 5) to get the job done.

Cons of a Water-Based Finish

If you choose a water-based finish, you’ll have to re-do your finish within the first two years because this finish isn’t as durable as the oil finish.

Out of the two, the water-based finish is the more expensive procedure. The water-based finish offers a limited color change when dried (if that’s what you’re looking for).

Some wood colors, like gray, require a water-based finish so that an oil based finish will not interfere with the color that has been obtained through staining. This can be a con if you have already invested in custom wood stains, and now have to pay a premium rate for a water-based finish.

Oil-based based finishes and water-based finishes each have their pros and cons. Your decision will come down to your preference and your budget. Consult an engineered flooring consultant to see what type of finishes will be best for you.


Grow A Garden Even If You Have Limited Space

Do you see all these beautiful and lush gardens and wish you can have your very own garden but you don’t have the space for it? Wouldn’t it be great to walk over to your very own garden and snip some basil for the pesto you are making for dinner or pluck some sweet cherry tomatoes for your salad? Well, you can have your own garden even if you don’t have a large backyard. It’s easier than you think. Let’s explore how you can start your own garden no matter how big or small your place is.

If you have a balcony, you can use the square foot gardening method to grow your own little vegetable garden. Square foot gardening is a method made popular by Mel Bartholomew that packs as many crop as possible in a 4×4 square feet garden. To get started, you will need a 4×4 gardening bed that is at least 6 inches deep. Then you need to fill it in with potting soil. Mel has his own preferred soil mixture that he uses, but you can use a potting soil like Miracle Gro. Once you have the gardening bed filled with soil, you will divide it into 16 squares. In each square you will plant a different crop. Depending on the plant, you will grown anywhere from one to nine of each crop per square. With square foot gardening, you can have a bountiful harvest even if you have limited space.

Another way to garden in a small space is vertical gardening. If your balcony isn’t big enough for square foot gardening or you do not want to take up that much room away from your small balcony, you can grow your garden up. You can use a weather resistant shelf to plant your garden. Vegetables and fruits such as lettuces, strawberries and herbs are ideal for vertical gardening. Hanging tomatoes plants upside down is a great way to save space and still have fresh tomatoes available. Wall gardening is another great solution for small space gardening. Wall gardening is like an edible work-of-art. It takes a little more effort to hang up a wall garden, but the result is amazing.

What if you don’t have a balcony or any outdoor space? Not to worry, vertical gardening or wall gardening works just as well indoors as it does outdoor. Start your garden near a window to get maximum sunlight exposure. Not only can you have a great indoor garden, but having plants indoor create a peaceful environment, so it’s a win-win.

Don’t let the lack of space deter you from planting and growing your own garden. Many people have their own gardens without a backyard. There are many space-saving gardening towers, trellises and shelves available so you can garden even with limited space. Growing your own garden is easy, fun and satisfying. You don’t need to have a big fancy garden right away. Start with a couple of small container of herbs and build your garden from there.