A kids herb garden is a great way to give with no previous exposure to gardening the opportunity to see how things grow. For a child who has grown up doing gardening chores, it’s a way to share the joy of planting and caring for a garden of their own. A child’s personal garden of herbs can be fun, yet provide rewards for work well done.
The size of the herb plot must be one that a child can handle. A plot that requires adult help to prepare and manage is at least partially missing the point of the garden. This doesn’t mean that you can’t help your child to work in the garden. The space should be big enough so that more than one plant can be placed. Several varieties of herbs are best, since they won’t all develop at the same rate. A container such as a window box will hold a fair-sized selection of herbs.
One way to manage the size of the herb garden is to use several small pots, one for each type of herb. You can move pots around to get better sunlight and watering opportunities when you might not be able to move a larger single container. It’s important for the child to help you choose the container, with your guidance.
You should go with your child when the herbs are selected. Try to get a variety of plants so that they don’t all look or smell alike. At the same time, curb the child’s enthusiasm if he or she wants to plant herbs that are hard to maintain and grow. Think about where the plants will be living and don’t choose plants that require partial shade if you only have plant space in direct sunlight. Choosing plants that sprout and grow quickly to maintain the level of enthusiasm initiated when the seeds are first planted.
Watering is a significant part of keeping a garden in ideal condition. Children can be taught to monitor moisture levels in a pot or other container. The responsibility learned by children who are caring for plants will stand them in good stead throughout the rest of their lives.
From planting, to watering to harvesting, a child with an interest in gardening developed through an herb garden may enjoy carrying the interest one step further and see how the herbs are used in cooking. Add a few sprinkles of basil to potatoes and zucchini. Summer savory is excellent in soups and stews or stuffing a turkey at Thanksgiving time. Thyme is another notable herb that is used in delicious dishes.
Children who love to do crafts may want to use their fresh herb plants as gifts for relatives and friends. Dried herbs can be packaged in small containers and given to those who enjoy gardening. Herbs are great for gardening friends or those who enjoy cooking with fresh herbs.
There is a lot of creativity in choosing favorite containers and plants to be included in a kids herb garden. Children can exercise their artistic bent as well as develop a sense of responsibility when they grow herbs. The benefit of getting joy from growing things is another great advantage of children’s garden plots.