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Enjoy the Many Benefits of Family Gardens

Enjoy the Many Benefits of Family Gardens

Spring is the perfect time for outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy together. Studies have proven that gardening is not only fun, but can provide relaxation, physical exercise and stress relief.

With beautiful weather, Greater Gainesville is the ideal place for starting this rewarding hobby.


Get Everyone Involved

Children can be a part of your family garden every step of the way:

  • Plan and Shop
    • Decide what kind of garden and plants to have, and where it is going to go. Take a trip to the garden center together. That way, each person can choose their own flower, plant, fruit or vegetable to grow.
  • Hands-on Help
    • Children of all ages can assist with digging holes, adding soil and planting. Let them help remove plants from the pots. Pruning the roots or leaves is another easy task for children to feel involved.
  • Chore Fun
    • A watering, weeding and harvesting chore schedule allows every member of the family to contribute to the garden’s success. Make up new chores, like measuring the stems heights or counting the number of leaves.
  • Kitchen Prep
    • The weekly harvest provides a chance to prepare smoothies, salads or side dishes together. Have everyone pick and wash their own ingredients. There is nothing better than enjoying fresh food from the backyard.

Growth for the Mind, Body & Soul

Some of the many benefits of gardening for children include:

  • Educational
    • Exploring plants and insects offers lessons in biodiversity. Research with them which bugs are good for plants, which ones are bad and how to get rid of them.
    • Help them learn about what plants need to grow. It also helps hone their problem-solving, critical thinking and cause-and-effect. Let them figure out that sweet spot between too much water and not enough.
  • Emotional
    • Seeing hard work pay off builds self-confidence. It promotes responsibility and discipline by making sure they are doing what they need to keep their plants growing. Kids will be excited watching their plants grow and feel accomplished when they see the fruits or flowers.
    • It also lets them learn how to fail. It is sad when things go wrong. Allowing kids to mess up, be sad and then learn from those mistakes helps them become more resilient. Something about life and lemons…
  • Mental
    • Fresh air and exercise improve mental health. Getting kids out of the house, off social media and away from screens makes everyone feel better. Bring them back to the golden age of childhood: making mud pies.
    • It is a creative outlet as well. Designing their own garden and filling it up with their favorites gives them a new way to express themselves.
  • Physical
    • Growing fruits and vegetables encourages healthy eating. It is much more enjoyable to eat a yucky veggie when it comes from their own hands. Make their fresh produce the star of dinner.
    • It also provides kids with an opportunity to be kids. Playing outside and getting messy improves motor skills, tires them out and is just fun. Better yet, they will dirty up themselves and not the house.


Fertilizing Advice

Follow this guide from Gainesville’s Garden Gate Nursery for the best time to fertilize.

  • Citrus & Fruits – Spring
  • Deciduous Trees – Spring
  • Warm Weather Perennials – Spring
  • Azaleas – Spring
    • BONUS Tip: Wait until after spring bloom and stop in July
  • Camellias – Spring
    • BONUS Tip: Use nitrogen fertilizer in spring. Add a bloom booster in fall.
  • Shrubs – Spring & Fall
  • Evergreens – Spring & Fall
  • Blueberries – Winter (Tip: Use acidic fertilizer)
  • Roses – Regularly throughout the growing season


See Also

Pest Control Tips

Tackle all kinds of pests with these smart solutions from Garden Gate Nursery.

  • Aphids or Spider Mites – Neem oil
  • Fungus Gnats – Cinnamon or Neem oil
  • Mealybugs or Leaf Miners – Spinosad
  • Scale – Acephate or Horticultural oil


By Jennifer Kennedy. 

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