It’s planting season! If you’ve been thinking about starting a garden or planting a few seeds, I encourage you: just start. It’s easy to think about it each year and then let May pass, and before you know it, you’re deciding you must not be destined for gardening after all. Not this year — just plant something!
Here’s the truth: ANYONE can plant a seed, and NO ONE can make it grow. The best gardeners do their part — the planting, the watering — but then it’s up to the seed or the plant to work its magic and do what it was made to do.
Last year I finally decided that the community garden wasn’t working for our family and we needed to establish a home garden. We purchased some raised beds, filled them with soil, and visited a local grower to buy our plants. I took my daughters with me and my oldest decided she wanted to grow purple bell peppers and a sugar baby watermelon. She helped me plant, tended her plants all summer, and shared her harvest with the whole family. She was also our daily strawberry harvester.
My daily walks through our little garden were the highlight of my summer, and sharing the process with my kids has been one of my favorite parenting experiences. This year I hope to give the kids nearly full dominion over the vegetable garden since I will be so busy with flowers.
If you want to include your kids in the garden — whether you plant vegetables or flowers, or have a large garden or a small pot — you can learn together and share enthusiasm for the wonder of growing things by reading books about plants. Here are some books our family has enjoyed that you may enjoy too, and they’re all available at the Stark County Library, for you local folks.
- A Perfect Day for Digging by Cari Best
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
- And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
- Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip by Denia Lewis Hester
- Harvey the Gardener by Lars Klinting
- Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn
- Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
- Florette by Anna Walker
- Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
Do you have a favorite book that’s not included here? Share it in the comments so others can enjoy it too!