Even the most freestyle gardens need a little planning to be efficient. Develop a garden schedule for the kids to help prepare them for the upcoming garden season.
Using a calendar
Use a calendar to set up a regular garden schedule for the kids' gardens. This can help keep them on track. When spring arrives, the kids tend to get excited, antsy and ambitious. But oftentimes that excitement can get them distracted away from important garden chores.
Make a calendar you can put into the kids' garden journals. You can do this with most word processors. You can also make a calendar by hand if you wish. The calendar can be used to regulate or decide on which garden activities will be done. Routine garden chores, such as watering, weeding and harvesting, can be added into the calendar as necessary. These reminders help kids stay on task.
When to start gardening
To help determine when to start things, find out the last frost date in your area. This is determined by your hardiness zone. These can usually be found by calling up an expert, say a local gardening club, your local agriculture department or the local greenhouse. You can also find them at The National Arboretum's Web site.
Frost Free Dates
The frost free date, or sometimes called the last frost date, is the date when no more frost is expected to come. These dates are pretty accurate, but occasionally frost can occur right around that time. They are only average dates.
Last Hard Freeze
The last hard freeze is the last days that a hard freeze will occur. A hard freeze is anything under thirty-two degrees, or below freezing. This freeze will normally kill most plants or leave them severely injured and could affect the plant's production.
Growing zones were made to help farmers get dates when they could plant things. These are based on annual temperatures and fluctuations of climate. The growing zone helps determine frost free dates, last hard freeze dates and first fall frost dates. These are important to know when planning the garden.
We aren't on schedule
There will be days off. It will rain. You won't be able to get out. There will be sick days and vacation days and other days where gardening won't be in the agenda. That's okay. A rough garden schedule is all it takes to get organized. You know the kids better than anyone else. Develop a garden schedule that is right for your kids' gardens.
Dandelions are so much more than just your average weed.
Go on a nature walk with your child and help him or her gather different types and colors of leaves.