How Your Garden Can Affect Your Child in the Future

Our neighbors in the back who moved in this summer have two small boys. Their cousins visit on weekends— bringing the total up to 7 children playing in the yard. I was talking to all of them not long ago and the oldest girl, who will be 13 this month, asked me where the flowers were.

I answered her without showing surprise —- but I WAS surprised that a 13 year old — especially one who lived in a rural area—- didn’t know that flowers (the great majority of them anyway) don’t bloom in the dead of winter here in Virginia.

Her question was still better than the one a young man of 20 something asked me years ago about growing tomatoes in a pot. He wanted to know if you have to change the soil (that the tomato is growing in) during the growing season.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because unfortunately a good part of the population knows nothing about the hazards of the food they eat that comes from big agribusiness. So why would they know anything about growing food —- or much less growing flowers.

The majority of folks don’t give much importance to the very thing that sustains our life: the food we eat.

There may come a time that some will be forced to take up gardening to provide food for their families. Those who have had parents who garden — most especially parents who were wise enough to involve their children — will have a great advantage.

A six year old and a seven year old help with wintersown.

A six year old and a seven year old help with wintersown.

It’s sorta like riding a horse. Those who have been around and on horses since they were babes have a comfort zone around horses much greater than any who take up riding late in life.

Being around anyone who gardens is helpful for children, but the real benefit comes when they’re allowed to participate in what’s being done.

A three year old waters some lettuce.

A three year old waters some lettuce.

If you have kids you already know how anxious they are to “help” and imitate everything you do. The more fun and exciting you make it seem, the more participation you’ll get from the kids.

You really don’t have to make much of an effort for this because it’s your everyday attitude of loving to garden that kids pick up on. They learn all that’s necessary from the subtleties.

What you teach now (by doing) about how to eat and how to grow food — will stick with them in later years.

A child who has experienced all that goes on growing food from seed and getting the results to the dinner table, will have an understanding of gardening that is far greater than a child who has never experienced it.

Sisters harvest beets for dinner that were grown from seed.

Sisters harvest beets for dinner that were grown from seed.

Final Thoughts
Even with this hands-on-experience in the garden, not every child will want to be a gardener. But you never know what life will bring to your children.

Gardening teaches so many good principles that it’s well worth your time to teach by involving your kids whenever you’re given the opportunity.

SPECIAL THANKS to my friend and reader who allowed me to use pictures of her children with this post. I think they add so much!

To protect her privacy, I won’t mention her name. I’ve copyrighted the pictures under TendingMyGarden to help keep them from being used elsewhere.

Other Posts about Kids and Gardening:

Kids – Another Story – Another Smile

Kids – Plants – You – and the Garden

You and Your Garden Can Make A Difference with Kids


Organic gardening is easy, efficient, and effective —- and it’s a lot healthier.


All content including photos is copyright by  All Rights Reserved.



  • When kids are little the task always takes so much longer when they ‘help’ so there is the temptation not to include them BUT… as time goes on, they improve and then things take LESS time because they are actually able to be really helpful. They feel good about being able to help in a meaningful way, and if all goes well, they catch that magic that is gardening and thus have a rewarding interest for a lifetime. So it’s all well worth it. I’m hoping my kids will get that joy that we gardeners know, from ‘playing’ in the dirt, aka, gardening and keep it for their lifetime.

    I’m curious, Theresa, about how you discovered your love of gardening?

  • I discovered my love of gardening by gardening Sandra. I had always wanted to garden when we lived in the city but we had no yard to garden in.
    My parents had a garden at one time when I was little — but I was never really a part of anything they did.
    I’m so much like my Grandmother on my Father’s side — and she LOVED flower gardening — so maybe I inherited that from her.
    But — again — I never knew I loved gardening so much until after I started gardening.

  • I am surprised to hear that you didn’t have a parent who taught you, Theresa. But learning by doing and by making mistakes is always a good way to learn too.

  • Yes, learning by doing and making mistakes is a good way — BUT — it’s so much easier if you’ve had some instruction and help along the way.

  • This is so true. I can’t wait to have grandchildren to teach them about gardening and raising chickens!

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