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Kids and sfg

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Kids and sfg

Post  jhayford on 6/19/2011, 2:26 am

My son has been watching me set up my boxes and asked if he could have his own garden. He is autistic so I try not to discourage him when something strikes his fancy. How would you set up a child with a box? Oh he want's to grow jack-o-lanterns. He "helps" me when I work on the garden. Just for help answering the question. He is 7 but emotionally and developmentally he is about 4-5 depending on the skill. Cognitively he is on par with any adult though lol. You should here the things he comes up with.
Sorry I babble
Jennifer
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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  shannon1 on 6/19/2011, 2:53 am

there is a great section in the book about it. Since you know your son best (I have never had children) I would suggest either giving him space in your garden or making a small box just for him and his pumpkins. Squash grow quickly and I have seen them recommened for young ones to grow. There are lots of parents here and I am sure they will be full of good advice for you.
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Kids and SFG

Post  tabletopper on 6/19/2011, 7:33 am

Childrens garden boxes should be no bigger than 3'x3' so they can reach easier.....
I teach a few from a local preschool.......if you can start with a few strawberry plants 4 to a sq...if they are still available....they love watching and waiting to pick them.& eating.....
Radishes is a fast sprouter.....not all like to eat them.....
Tomatoes....cherry or jelly bean...is a favorite...to pop into their mouths...
And of course a few flowers.....snapdragons are a favorite and sweet peas.....(sweet peas and tomatoes are vining and need support)
Enjoy with your son....
Ruth

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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  Kelejan on 6/19/2011, 10:50 am

I think it would be better to give him is own little box rather than being part of a larger bed. That is assuming he is not just a toddler. It will give him a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Just trying to remember how it was when I was a child. Very Happy I was very young, about four years old, and my first "garden" consisted of one potato that produced an enormous amount of potatoes and made me feel very proud that I had supplied pots for a couple of meals. There were five of us in the family at that time.

I am only hoping that the pots I planted this year will be as productive.
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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  etherati on 6/19/2011, 12:00 pm

When I was a kid, my sister and I both had our own 2x2 squares sort of 'mickey mouse eared' onto the main box at the corners... the year I remember the most strongly, I grew miniature pumpkins and those crazy multicolored autumn gourds. They probably needed better support than they had, it was a viney mess! But it was a lot of fun. I remember going out there every day with anticipation, to see what new crazy stuff was growing and what was big enough to pick.

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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  dstubbs on 6/19/2011, 12:11 pm

I started an SFG project at my daughter's daycare this spring. The kids (all aged 2-5) picked out their own veggies, started seedlings indoors, and just recently transplanted them outside (about 3 or 4 weeks ago). So far it's going well.

I just found a great book at the library called "How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers" by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle (Timber Press 2010). I've only just started reading it, but if you can find a copy I'll bet it will give you some neat ideas you could work with.
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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  Mamachibi on 6/19/2011, 12:27 pm

Seeds of Change has some really cool varieties that my kids find fascinating: purple carrots, target-patterned beets, eggplant that makes fruit colored and shaped like easter eggs, etc.
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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  jbh29 on 6/19/2011, 2:23 pm

My kids have enjoyed watching seeds sprout in zip lock bags with a small piece of moist paper towel inside. It's an easy way to sprout seeds and can be watched daily to see the actual sprouting.

Then when it's time to plant you can pick the seed off the towel or even rip a piece of the towel to plant with the seed (if the sprout grew through the towel).
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Five Senses Garden

Post  MSJ on 6/19/2011, 7:20 pm

I bet your son would love every aspect of a square foot garden from making Mel's Mix to figuring how many plants for each square. A garden could be his own quiet, peaceful spot.

I have an old gardening magazine from 1994 with an article about a teaching garden that featured a five senses garden with plants to see, touch, taste and smell. Sharon Lovejoy was the gardener and she has written several books with activities for children in the garden. I just ordered Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots on Amazon for $7.00. I teach Kindergarten and our new Science curriculum focuses on growing things. We are thinking of letting the children help plant a square foot garden.

Let us know how it works out with your son.

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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  jhayford on 6/19/2011, 8:01 pm

We went to lowes today for some garden stuff. He picked out some marigolds to plant with his pumpkins I read they keep the bugs away somewhere and told him so he insisted. I ordered the seeds of change cataloge (I am a page flipper for some things) and wanted to try the colorful carrots myself. I hope they are sweet. He also saw a half whiskey barrel he wanted to use but they are $40 bucks geez. Tuesday I told my bf to make him a 3 foot box so that we can get his punkin's in the ground soon. Thank you all for your opinions. This is the first thing besides cars that he has show interest in. He helped me mulch my flower beds today. He even pulled three weeds untill he figured out it was more fun to throw the mulch everywhere lol.
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Re: Kids and sfg

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/19/2011, 8:45 pm

@jhayford wrote:My son has been watching me set up my boxes and asked if he could have his own garden. He is autistic so I try not to discourage him when something strikes his fancy. How would you set up a child with a box? Oh he want's to grow jack-o-lanterns. He "helps" me when I work on the garden. Just for help answering the question. He is 7 but emotionally and developmentally he is about 4-5 depending on the skill. Cognitively he is on par with any adult though lol. You should here the things he comes up with.
Sorry I babble
Jennifer

You made my day!!! My middle son, 9, is also autistic. He seems to be a bit farther down the scale than yours, but I understand completely when you try to accomodate any request....they are just so few and far between.

By all means, grow some danged pumpkins! Make your boxes large enough to get 3-4 plants going, imo. The last thing you want is to only plant one and have his beloved plant not fruit. He may understand, but my boy wouldn't. Maybe he will want some other things in there sometime.

It's so neat to hear about autistic children's passions when they appear. I'll be anxious to hear how this develops. Please update soon!
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