Get Gardening!

Categories: Well-being
Children in garden

Growing in the Garden

The lasting impact and valuable lessons learned are a few reasons to start a garden today. Families can bond, while others find a place to relax and reflect. Also, challenges faced in gardening teaches everyone persistence and remind us all to enjoy the simple time spent while getting dirty cultivating some of our human necessities. The kids at Windermere Elementary School are setting an example of what’s possible. They’re growing both figuratively and literally in limitless ways. Students of all ages are learning to work together through compassion and kindness in order to problem solve in the garden.  There is always magic in learning where our food comes from and a respect for the planet that comes when you get gardening.

*Photos and videos in this post were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simple Lessons Learned

Kids at Windermere Elementary are anxious to see the new growth each week and share stories from their own observations during the time in-between meetings, these aspiring gardeners are amazed by the simple life cycles of plants and insects in our tiny ecosystem. They enjoy the benefits of their hard work all while being incredibly inspired by the little things in life. They are continuously thinking large and encouraged to try new things as we experiment and observe our trials and learn from our errors. That’s the beauty of having your own garden. It’s trial and error and doesn’t have to be perfect. It fact you can make it anyway you want.

So what has kept you from starting a garden?

Is it the size? The time it takes? Or something else? All these things are easily overcome if you start small. One pot and a few seeds is all it takes. In fact, starting small will help you learn how to manage sunlight exposure, watering, soil, and other necessities of gardening.

Children Gardening

5 Basic Tips to Starting a Garden

Starting a garden doesn’t need to be complicated and you can even do it with your neighbors. However, there are certain things to consider before you get going and start growing. Here’s 5 tips to get you started.

1. Consider Your Options

Want to plant Vegetables? Flowers? Herbs? Starting a garden doesn’t have to take up the whole back yard. Start small until you figure it out.

2. Pick the Correct Spot

The spot you pick is important! This could be in the yard or even in a single pot. Remember that plants need sunlight, so direct sun exposure is important to grow vegetables and flowers. This will help them thrive.

3. Figure Out Your Soil

Vegetables grow best in moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. This means using compost or additional soil to boost the ground your planting in.

4. Plant What You Want to Grow

This not only includes digging hole to drop the seeds in, but watering at the proper time and the right amount. Also, protecting your planted area with mulch is a good idea.

5. Have Fun & Enjoy Yourself

Cultivating and harvesting are two of the most rewarding parts of gardening. Tending to a garden along the way will take time and can be stressful at times, but it has its rewards. From planting to picking to eating in some cases, the life cycle and care that is taken in a garden can be something enjoyed by the whole family. Even for experienced gardeners, there’s always something to be learned.

Now’s the best time to get started gardening. There’s something that can grow year round. Use this local Central Florida resource to help you along the way!

Gardening Inspiration

Either at school or within the community, we all can learn from each other across generations when gardening. Many families have even been inspired to begin a garden at home from the learning garden at Windermere Elementary. We challenge and encourage you to start small and within your comfort level. All it takes to begin is one pot and need not be the entire farm. The joy is exponential and rewarding no matter the scale. Get started today and HAPPY GARDENING!

Do you have gardening tips when starting out? Share it with us! We’d love to hear from you in the comments below:

Amy Shova

About the Author

Amy Shova is a part of Windermere Elementary School’s PTO as Science Chair. She facilitates the school’s Learning Garden and was previously a high school biology teacher. She has three boys and enjoys spending time with her family, friends and to no surprise, her garden.

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