Article by Ms.Madhavi Praveen, our Short Story contestant winner.
Gardening is a stress buster for adults and a fun activity for young children. When you teach the little ones various nuances of gardening they will learn that food farming is a difficult and slow process. They will appreciate the effort that goes into growing crops and hence develop a sense of respect for the farmer and the Mother Earth. Hence, indulge in a little gardening for kids and see your little ones grow more responsible.
With work deadlines eating up your schedules it is difficult to spend time in gardening every single day. However, some vegetables grow easily once the potting is done appropriately. You can leave the job of watering the plants to the children and focus only once in a week to ensure the plant is insect-free. Leafy vegetables are quite easy to grow. You can monitor the growth once a week with organic manure and pesticide. These veggies grow in abundance within three to four weeks of plantation and yield a good harvest. They can be used to bring in some variety for your dishes.
Listed Below are Some Popular Plants Ideas which Children Can Easily Grow in their Tiny Space
Amaranth Leaves: Harive soppu or Lal Bhaji as it is called, is grown by planting the seeds in a potting soil. You can buy the seeds online or from a seed store near you. You can involve the children when you are preparing the potting soil. Teaching them the importance of organic farming may prompt them to learn the nuances of gardening. Also, using your vegetable waste for preparing organic manure and teaching the importance of growing the plants without using pesticides drives your children to contribute towards environmental preservation. This gardening practice for kids would help them get connected to earth and help them enjoy a sense of achievement in seeing little things grow.
Indian Pennywort: Brahmi or Vandelaga or Gotu Kola is a popular creeper which grows abundantly once the roots take to the soil you have planted it in. You may have to instruct your children not to water this plant too much. The soil should be just damp and not soggy or loose. You may request your elders to overlook the watering process by your children to ensure the plant grows in a proper manner. You can purchase this plant from any nursery near you. The chutney prepared using this plant is not only lip-smacking but full of health benefits for your children.
Indian Borage: Doddapatre soppu or Ajwain or Patharchur is a medicinal plant which is popular in providing relief from cold and cough. This plant grows very easily and with very little water. Entrust your children with the job of ensuring that there are no grasshoppers which eat away the leaves. You can reap a good harvest once every two weeks for tangy yet healthy chutney. You can also use this chutney as gravy when making bread sandwiches. The leaves will lend a distinctive and lingering taste of its own to every dish prepared using it.
What can your children do?
Allow your kids to water the soil every day. Once a week, you can observe the growth and pour some sour buttermilk into the soil to avoid pest infestation to the plants. Involve your children when you are making the compost and teach them how to use it. This is the most organic way of growing your plants. The organic manure needs to be used in moderation and hence it is best that you use it once in two weeks. Since these plants grow faster, children will be mighty excited to observe the growth. Encourage them to keep a diary of its growth, or record the stages of its development. This gardening for kids will inculcate a sense of bonding and unity towards Mother Nature and kids would be more eager to taste the veggies which they have grown by themselves.
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