Earlier this week I had the joy of speaking with Gardening expert, William Moss who shared simple tips for getting the kids out of the house and in the garden!
CandieAnderson.com: With summer right around the corner and the kids out on summer break, what can parents do to get their kids away from their tech gadgets and interested in the garden?
William Moss: "Well, they've got to get excited themselves about being outdoors. Today I'm in Cantigny gardens right outside of Chicago and it's absolutely beautiful. So we want to share that same energy and passion with our kids. We want to make it like they're going to an event, so start by telling them 'we're going to get ready to go garden, we're going to warm up'. Have them do some jumping jacks, stretches, whatever in preparation for going out to the garden- bending, digging, stooping- all of those things. Make it an exciting activity."
CandieAnderson.com: Do you have any advice for parents if they don't have a green thumb?
William Moss: Yeah, two things- one, start small. If you're just beginning get yourself a 4×4 raised bed or a couple of nice containers because it's just easier to take care of them, it's just easier to manage and have success with. And then start with a good soil. So make sure you have a good soil; planting mix or a potting mix like this Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro – something that's going to both feed the plant for a long time and keep the soil nice and loose so the roots can grow out throughout and give you a lot of top growth."
CandieAnderson.com: And what else do they need besides soil to have a flourishing garden?
William Moss: "Well, you definitely need a plan, so you need to think about what do you want to grow? Do you want this just to be flowers? Beautiful flowers for the birds and the butterflies or do you want to grow herbs and vegetables for yourself, something you can use to eat or to cook with later on or do you want to combine the two? Whatever you want to do, first get your plan, get your plants together. After that it's simply a matter of feeding them regularly throughout the season and then giving them the light and the love they need."
CandieAnderson.com: What can kids learn from digging in the dirt and growing their own garden?
William Moss: "Well, the biggest thing they can learn is just life lessons. Gardening is very intuitive and a lot of things that our grandparents knew, we've lost. So having the information and having the whole cause and effect; the whole development; being able to say 'oh, okay this is how an apple starts. It starts as a flower, it gets pollinated and turns into a fruit- oh, wow'. They get to watch the development of a cucumber or a honey dew melon. Those types of things, not only do they teach the cause and effect and development, they also teach patience and you can build whatever lesson you want to build around that- from science with the weather and the soil, and math and measuring and weighing the produce, measuring the height of the plants and all that or the history or culture. You can build whatever lesson you want around gardening, but just the act of gardening itself is filled with all these intuitive life lessons that I guarantee not only your child, but YOU are going to learn a whole lot when you get out there."
CandieAnderson.com: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
William Moss: "Yes, if you need more tips or just want to reach out and contact me and ask questions, go to MiracleGro.com. They have everything you need to start, whether you're starting small or trying something big and they have all the techniques to get you all the way through the season with success."