What Gardening Can Teach Your Kids

What Gardening Can Teach Your Kids

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to raise your children with a strong set of morals and values. You want them to be able to grow up and be successful, happy adults.  One way you can instill important life values in your children is through gardening together. Teaching your kids how to garden can expose them to essential life skills that they may have otherwise just taken for granted. Let’s look at some of the benefits of gardening to children. 1) Scarcity In today’s world, kids are used to having everything they could ever want. Food is plentiful, water is easy to come by, and there is an abundance of toys and material goods to go around. But as soon as they step into the garden, they quickly realize that not everything is always going to be handed to them. Vegetables aren’t immediately available by the end of the day – not even the fastest growing vegetables. They certainly wouldn’t reap the rewards if they abandon their project, either. In other words, they’ll have to work for their reward. And instilling this value early in life helps your kid value hard work and appreciate the things they have more. 2) Patience Gardening is not an instantaneous process. It takes weeks to months for a plant to sprout from a seed, even when you’ve done all the right things to care for them. Even for tasks that are completed more quickly, such as harvesting vegetables or fruits, your kids will need to be patient. After all, they can’t just go and pluck everything off the plant all at once. They’ll have to manually check for ripeness and only take what’s ready. This is an invaluable lesson that will teach your kids the importance of delayed gratification. They’ll learn that they need to be patient to reap the rewards. 3) Cause and Effect What happens when you neglect to water the plants? They wilt and eventually die. Or if you overwater them, they might get moldy or rot. Your kids will quickly learn that there are consequences to their actions when they’re gardening. If they don’t do what’s necessary to care for the plants, then they won’t get the results that they’re hoping for. This reality may seem harsh, but it’s an important lesson for kids to learn. It will teach them that their actions have consequences and that they need to be mindful of what they do. 4) Responsibility When you give your kids the responsibility of caring for a plant, they’re also taking on the weight of that plant’s life. They’ll need to be consistent in their care, which means watering it on a regular basis, making sure it gets enough sunlight, and so on. If they’re not responsible, then the plant will likely die. An experience like this can teach your kids the importance of being responsible and reliable. And in childcare learning centers like Raising Stars, the value of responsibility is not overlooked as it is one of the most fundamental qualities that separate exceptional pupils of life from the rest. 5) Value of Life When your children see a plant wilt and die because they forgot to water it, they may feel a sense of sadness or guilt. And, truth be told, this melancholic experience can come with some valuable life lessons. The main lesson kids can learn from wilting plants is that life is precious and should be valued. They’ll learn that even something as small as a plant needs to be taken care of for it to thrive. But even if they’ve done all the right things, it’s still possible for bad things to happen to the plant. A rodent may wreck it. Perhaps a storm may uproot it. As a parent, it’s important to prepare them for this reality. This will help them understand that nothing on this earth is temporary and that they should make the most out of every day they have with the people they love. 6) Survival Skills Gardening doesn’t only mean watching pretty flowers grow. It can also mean teaching your kids how to identify edible plants in the wild, how to trim twigs, how to find fertile soil, and so on. In other words, it can teach them essential survival skills that they can use if they ever find themselves in a situation where they need to fend for themselves. While modern society has made it easy for us to survive without these skills, it’s still good to have them when they’re out in the great outdoors. 7) Gratitude When your kids see the fruits of their labor, whether it’s a beautiful flower or a delicious vegetable, they’ll likely feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. And that’s a good thing! But it’s also important to teach them the value of gratitude. After all, they didn’t do it all on their own. The sun and rain played a role in helping the plants grow. And you, as the parent, likely gave them some guidance along the way. Help your kids understand that they should be grateful for all the things that contributed to their success. This will teach them to be humble and to appreciate all the good things in their...
How to Rake Pine Needles: All you Need to Know

How to Rake Pine Needles: All you Need to Know

Let’s be fair, needles from pine trees can be as much of a nuisance as those fallen leaves! Evergreen trees shed needles all through the fall and can quickly mess up your entire garden or backyard. In this guide, we explain how to rake pine needles properly to avoid wasting time and your physical resources. Just use the tips listed in our straightforward step-by-step instructions and you will do the work much faster and save up time for other important yard and garden chores.  Raking Pine Needles: Choose the best pine needle rakeRake the needles into piles Pick the needles up and dispose of them!  How to Rake Pine Needles Properly and Easily Here are all the steps to rake the needles away as quickly as possible. Step 1: Get the tools ready Before you start raking, it’s necessary to get the best rake for pine needles that is designed specifically for that purpose. Such rakes simplify the work many times. Other items to prepare include: Trash bagsGardening glovesWaterproof boots (if it’s swampy) Step 2: Prepare the Area Now you need to clear the area covered in needles from any debris, such as pine cones, branches, and twigs.  Step 3: Rake Properly  Once the area is ready for raking, wear your gear and start dragging the rake toward yourself to gather the needles. You need to move it fast first and then slow down to help the prongs catch all the smaller needles left behind. It’s recommended to rake from the center to the corners. The best way to pick up pine needles afterward is to scoop them into trash bags while wearing your gloves. Congratulations! Your yard is clean now.  How to get rid of pine needles? If the only items you have are a rake and gloves, you can simply scoop the needles into trash bags and dispose of them in trash cans. You can also sell bags of needs to landscapers and retailers or use them in your own garden as mulch (but only if you have plants that need or tolerate high acidity).  FAQ Ready for several more important facts? Here they are. What type of rake is best for pine needles? All stores offer special pine straw rake models of different configurations. Wide metal rakes offer the highest raking capacity and durability, but you may consider narrower models if you have a small yard with lots of narrow spaces.  Can you shred pine straw? Sure! Shredded pine straw makes great mulch for garden and shrub beds.  Should I clean up pine needles? It’s necessary to remove pine straw in your garden as it can destroy grass and flowers they fall on due to naturally high acidity levels.  Rake That!  Now you are ready for a highly productive pine needle clean up! Following our guide, you will avoid any problems during the process. It can be one of the easiest gardening tasks if you know what tools and techniques work the best. If you have any improvements to offer or questions to ask, you are welcome to contact us via the comments, and we will reply as promptly as possible. Don’t hesitate to share our guide with your friends...
Effortless Ways To Add Privacy To Your Backyard

Effortless Ways To Add Privacy To Your Backyard

Backyard privacy isn’t always easy to achieve. Neighbors seem to have a habit of constantly cutting down trees so that they have a better view of what’s going on in your garden.  The good news is that there are several ways to fight back. Here’s what you need to do: Add Staggered Wooden Boards Look for a fence company in your area that will install staggered wooden boards between you and your neighbor. Not only are they a great way to add a boho touch to your garden, but you can also make them tall, blocking out any lines of sight that neighbors might be using to spy on you from afar. What’s more, because the boards are staggered, they create less of an eyesore than traditional six- to eight-foot fencing options.  Grow A Bigger Hedge Hedges are a great way to achieve privacy because of how subtle they are. Often you can start off with a small, four-foot hedge and patiently grow it to more than eight feet tall, as long as you have the right species. What’s more, because the growth happens slowly over several months, nobody really notices anything is happening, even when the task is complete. Some owners grow their hedges incredibly tall, keeping prying eyes at bay.  Layered Plants Another strategy is to use layered plants. You start with low-level shrubs and then build your way up to trees at the back. Staggering everything makes the garden look natural. Evergreens should be in the background to provide the maximum level of privacy possible.  Wooden Fence-Topped Stone Walls Stone walls are attractive, but most are only a couple of feet tall and primarily decorative. Fortunately, you can make them more functional by adding a palisade wooden fence on top, so long as the stone can accommodate it. Adding fencing could easily double the height of the wall, without appearing intrusive or aggressive.  Ornamental Ironwork For those who have a bigger budget, ornamental ironwork can be extremely effective when adding privacy to your backyard. Typically ironwork sits within masonry walls, making any division between your property and your neighbors’ appear more attractive while, at the same time, blocking line of sight.  If you can, look for salvage ironwork. It tends to look less generic than the modern stuff, and has more character. Old ironwork is more common in cities that are more than a century old, though you can import it out of state.  Pergolas If neighbors have a view over your backyard from above, say, the second floor of their home, no fence or wall will be high enough to block their line of sight. However, there are still ways to achieve privacy. For instance, building a pergola is a great, low-impact way to shield you from prying eyes looking down on you from above. Staggered wooden sections make it almost impossible to see what you are doing in your outdoor spaces, allowing you to entertain guests without the neighbors seeing who you have over. Pergolas tend to be more attractive than...
How to Look After the Trees in Your Garden

How to Look After the Trees in Your Garden

It’s spring, and you might be thinking about planting a new tree in your garden. That’s an excellent idea, but first, make sure you know what tree you are planting, where to plant it, and how to look after it, especially in the early days when the young tree needs extra attention.  Planting Locations  Sometimes you have trees in your garden already that are well-established; other times, you want to bring in new additions to add color and character to your garden. If you intend to plant a new tree, you need to think about the tree’s location carefully. Allow the roots to grow freely.  The trouble with some trees is they are too close to the house, and the tree roots move into the foundations causing cracks and expensive foundation issues. Other times the roots reach for the water and sewage pipes, causing issues in the winter. So think carefully before you plant.      Adequate Watering  If your tree is new or young, you need to water it frequently; however, it’s important you don’t overwater it either because this can lead to tree rot. After you plant your new tree, spray some water on it rather than watering the soil and mulch around the roots. Spray tree for 30 seconds.  If you have recently planted the tree, you need to spray it for 30 seconds and avoid pouring water into the roots. Similarly, if the tree is less than 2 years old, you need to water it like this whenever it looks too dry. Young trees need enough water to strengthen their roots for growing.  Adequate Mulching  Mulch consists of old leaves, grasses, and twigs that you can place around the roots of your new tree. This is recommended because mulch is excellent at protecting the roots from extremely high and low temperatures. However, be careful when watering the tree roots.  Although mulch protects the tree from extremes, it can also prevent evaporation, so if you put too much water on the roots along with mulch, you risk the tree roost rotting and the young tree dying. The mulch you put down should be around 3 inches thick and extends 3 feet from trunk.   Prune the Trees If you want to keep your tree looking its best throughout the year, you need to prune it regularly. Pruning, or tree trimming, serves two purposes. Firstly, pruning makes the tree more attractive because all of the dead branches and leaves are taken away. Secondly, it helps the tree grow.  When the tree no longer needs to feed the dead branches with nutrients, it can send its resources to other branches that are more alive and healthier. This boosts the health and wellbeing of your tree. If in doubt, contact professional tree trimming services for advice.  If you have questions specific to pruning crape myrtle, this article can provide some guidance too. Protect From Pests  Depending on your tree species, they may be more or less prone to pests at certain times of the year; it’s best to be aware of this and do research on your tree species. Some pests eat the leaves while others destroy the bark leading to unhealthy trees – but there are some...
How To Fall In Love With Your Garden Again

How To Fall In Love With Your Garden Again

No matter how much you enjoy gardening, there can often be times when caring for it gets to be too much. Whether the work is getting hard for you, you have a lot of work to do to bring your garden back to life after the winter, or you’ve had to neglect your garden for a while due to a busy period, it can feel hard to get back to feeling excited about your outdoor space again. Here are a few tips to help you.  Tidy Up If your garden hasn’t been getting the love it deserves, you probably have some tidying up to do. Start by raking and sweeping up any dead leaves, twigs and other debris. Concentrate on patios and pathways. If your lawn is looking thin, you can add in some more grass seed or turf to fill in any bald patches. Lawn installation could also help if your lawn is looking sorry for itself after some periods of bad weather.  Look for anything that has been damaged, such as loose fence panels, broken guttering, or damaged garden furniture, and get some repairs done. Broken things around the garden look untidy.  Welcome Wildlife One of the most rewarding things about having a garden can be watching the wildlife that comes to visit it. If you need to fall in love with your garden again, then add some elements that will appeal to different wildlife to encourage the animals to come back.  You could do things like install bird feeders and boxes, to attract different birds to come to feed and nest. Insects are important to a garden too, so you could also add some bug boxes or plant flowers that appeal to bees or butterflies. A hedgehog house could also be a nice addition.  With these new touches in place, spend some time watching the wildlife you’ve managed to attract. This is peaceful and rewarding.  Add Some Pots If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the idea of trying to get your flowerbeds back under control after they’ve been neglected for a while, then you can start small with something easier to maintain until you get your gardening groove back.  Pots or hanging baskets can seem much less daunting to tackle and can be a great way to add some life and color back to your garden, without the huge task of reviving flowerbeds.  Add some pots around the patio, and some hanging baskets by the door. With these adding some visual appeal, you might feel more tempted to go for the bigger task. If you’ve enjoyed assembling these pots and baskets, this can also help you to remember that you do enjoy gardening, and want to get the whole space looking good again.  Add Some Lights There’s no point putting all that work in if you can’t enjoy your space. Add some lighting around the garden, so you can relax in it in the evenings and admire your handiwork from the...
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