Gardening seems to be on the verge of becoming a lost skill with today's children. Not that many years ago, the backyard garden that provided fresh fruits and vegetables for family meals was a common site. Food preservation, or canning of homegrown vegetables and jellies and preserves made from fruits, was also popular. Teaching the skill of gardening to your children imparts to them the ability to grow their own food. It is one of the many ways to demonstrate to your children that there are ways to become self-reliant no matter what obstacles in life are before them.

Plant Fast-Growing Salad Greens

If this is your first attempt at gardening with your children, fast-growing plants are best. Your kids may want to grow giant pumpkins, but they can take four months to reach harvest. Salad greens can grow to harvest in as little as three weeks. To have a continual harvest, keep planting seeds about one week apart. Cover your salad green planting container or bed with mesh to prevent bird and insect infiltration.

Plant Some Big Garden Plants

If you have the space where a long vine can grow out along the ground for watermelons or pumpkins, they are wonderful plants to help maintain interest in gardening as the season progresses. From the first buds until the date of harvest, there are changes that can be noticed practically every day. Plus, the more care the plants are given, the better the final result. Harvesting big juicy watermelons or big pumpkins creates a real sense of being an accomplished gardener. Plus, demonstrating how pumpkins are used for making pies and roasting pumpkins seeds helps children understand the multiple ways people use produce from the garden.

Teach How Nature Interacts With Nature

The best gardens require knowledge of the plants that are being grown. Varying species of plants require different levels of nutrients, water and sunlight. Salad greens grow best in the spring, and they often go to seed quickly in the heat of summer. Tomatoes, pumpkins and peppers grow best in full sun. Trimming nearby trees may be a necessary chore to make sure your garden gets enough sunlight. This shows that there are more factors involved than just weeding and watering to get a garden to grow, such as using organic fertilizer from Nature Safe or a similar company. Fruit trees must be regularly pruned to produce new growth to promote a bigger harvest. There are also the beneficial insects that pollinate and act as predators against pests. A garden is an opportunity to learn skills from using tools to understanding the natural world.

Easy Container Gardening

If you do not have the yard space but do have a sunny porch, deck, patio or balcony, you can still teach gardening to your children. Container gardens can grow everything from tomatoes and peppers to salad greens and even corn. Strawberries grow great in containers. There are all kinds of fancy retail contraptions for container gardening available, or you can make your own. Cheap five-gallon buckets from a home supply center are big enough to grow a tomato plant that will keep you in tomato sandwiches for weeks. Just be sure to closely monitor container soil for drying out. Hot days may require watering twice per day.

If you want to begin teaching the subject of food preservation and gardening skills without a major investment in time and materials, then grow some cucumbers and make refrigerator pickles. This style of making pickles only requires jars, cucumbers and a pickle recipe. The pickling takes place with the jarred pickles in the refrigerator, and there are even freezer pickle options. The pickles stay fresh for weeks, and it is an easy introduction to food preservation methods.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.