Vegetables gardens produce a financial savings in the cost of food.
Gardens help families strengthen their relationships.
Gardens create lasting memories of planting, weeding, harvesting and canning.
Gardening is a fitness class - aerobics for all ages.
Gardening requires time, which provides a chance to talk about the day's events, about friends and values and future plans - all valuable topics for parents and kids.
Gardening helps to keep children occupied during summer vacation.
Gardening teaches children.
There is magic in the garden.
Food doesn't grow in tin cans.
Valuable traits and life skills are learned, like creativity, responsibility and patience.
Children learn the value of hard work.
Children learn about colors and textures and how things grow.
Children can learn about sunlight and how plants use it.
Children learn about soil, fertilizer, and insecticides.
Children enjoy being in nature, observing butterflies, insects, and birds, and what attracts them.
Children are more likely to taste new foods, if they grow them.
Children learn healthy habits as they enjoy fresh food.
Families can take their gardening questions to the Spokane County Extension Office.
What You Can Do
Plant a Row for the Hungry Campaign invites gardeners to add a row to
their gardens and donate the vegetables from it to local food banks.
Grow an Environmentally-Friendly Garden. See "Gardening" under the Environment topic.
Offer to plow or till gardens for others in the spring (for free, or for a small fee).
Northwest Gardener's Handbook, written by Spokane's master gardeners Pat Munts and Susan Mulvihill, focuses on plants that grow well in the Inland Northwest. In addition, they talk about fire-resistant plants and how to landscape in a region prone to wildfire, sustainable landscaping practices, and the challenges facing gardeners in our region.
Need advice from an expert about gardening or plants? Call or visit
Spokane County's WSU Master Gardeners program. This program is staffed
by trained volunteers who provide research-based and localized answers
to questions about any plant. Advice is FREE. Click on their page
Have your soil tested. Obtain a soil sample bag from
a reputable source, to test for Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium
(K), pH and organic matter. The cost of a soil test may range from
$30-$50. In Spokane, contact Spokane Conservation District Soil
Scientist Eric Choker, (509) 535-7274, ext. 18, or email him at
Gardening with Children
Start a garden in a small area, so it will not be overwhelming. It can be as small or large as you want. Remember - it doesn't have to be perfect.
Allow children to help select the food to grow.
Start with something that the kids will see as soon as possible - like radishes or beans.
Some of the plants children especially enjoy are cherry tomatoes and peas.
Herbs. Introduce children to herbs.
Teach children that some plants are poisonous. They need to know which plants are edible and which ones are not.