Whether you’re aiming to boost your home’s curb appeal, exercise your creativity, or simply live a healthier life, starting a garden from scratch is the ideal solution. According to Heather Rhode of Gardening Know How, “the act of nurturing plants in your backyard is good for the mind and also good for the body.”
Scientific studies confirm that gardening improves mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. Additionally, it can help improve strength, balance, and dexterity, and sunlight exposure alone can help lower blood pressure.
But alas, many busy moms struggle to find the time to maintain their own garden. And that’s why we’ve put together this mom’s guide to gardening. Stay tuned for expert tips and tricks on starting a garden as a mom. (Plus, some Mother’s day gifts for the green-thumbed moms in your life.)
Moms Guide to Gardening: Tips & Tricks
Interested in starting an herb garden as a busy mom? Here are some expert tips that will help you do just that:
1. Involve the Kids
Kids love helping. And when it comes to gardening, there are seemingly endless ways to do so. Invest in tiny shovels, rakes, and gardening gloves, then assign your children age-appropriate tasks. Not only does weeding an entire flowerbed become significantly easier with helping hands, but most children thoroughly enjoy digging around in the dirt.
2. Choose the Right Plants
Green thumb or not, choosing the right plants is key to a thriving garden. According to Kerry Meyer of Proven Winners, you want to begin by evaluating the conditions of your local environment. Here are some questions she recommends asking yourself:
- Are your summers hot, but dry?
- Do you have long, hot, humid summers?
- Are your summers milder and cooler at night, even when the days are hot?
- Do your conditions tend to be wet, dry, or somewhere in between?
- What plants grow naturally in your area?
After considering your environment, Meyer tells us to think about the actual spot where you plan on gardening:
- How much sunlight does the location receive?
- Does the soil tend to be wet, dry, or normal?
- Is the bed close to a water source?
- Is the bed in a high-traffic area or out of the way?
- What structures are near the bed that might affect it?
- What is your USDA hardiness zone?
- Are there any other factors to consider?
From there, you’ll need to find the right plants for your garden’s location. Here are some considerations:
- What are the sun/shade requirements of the plant?
- What are the water requirements of the plant?
- What is the habit of the plant? How large will it get?
- If you’re choosing a perennial, shrub, or tree – what is the hardiness zone?
- What are the maintenance requirements of the plant?
3. Choose the Right Location
Ideally, a sunny spot! Most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight per day. And while spinach and lettuce do well in partially sunny spots, sun-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers need as much light as possible.
Additionally, we recommend setting up your container garden near your house, as this makes it easier to tend your plot regularly. (It also makes running outside and grabbing dinner ingredients a breeze.)
4. Grow Things Your Family Likes to Eat
Gardening is way more fun when you enjoy the fruits of your labor (literally). Therefore, grow fruits and vegetables that are already a part of your family’s produce rotation. We recommend asking your children what vegetables they would like to harvest and designate them their own personal row in your garden. Not only will it help your kids foster healthy food habits, but they’ll quickly discover that vegetables taste better when they’ve grown them themselves.
5. Plant During the Right Time of Year
The best time of year to plant or harvest your garden depends on the type of plants you’re growing. Generally, March or April—when the soil begins to warm and the anticipation for summer is brimming—are the best months to sow hardy vegetable seeds.
Gardening Mothers Gift Ideas (and Must-Haves!)
Looking for gifts for mothers with green thumbs? Try these:
A large harvesting basket is an essential tool for any gardening mom, as it allows her to transport large quantities of produce at once. Additionally, most of the baskets have mesh at the bottom, which makes rinsing vegetables incredibly easy.
A Proper Pair of Pruners
Every gardening mom needs a proper pair of pruners, as they make life significantly easier. Pruners are fantastic for harvesting vegetables and cutting dead branches. They’re also great for pruning/propagating indoor plants and flowers.
Seeds, Plants, Flowers, and Fresh Herbs
Some of our favorite gardening gift ideas include fresh herbs, flowers, plants, seeds, or a garden sprout. All the gardeners we know love receiving unique types of seeds and flowers, and we’re confident the gardening mom in your life is no different.
Gardening Gloves (for Both Moms and Kids)
Buying matching gloves for moms and their kids is a great way to get the entire family involved in the gardening process. Because there are so many options to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find something suitable for everyone.
A Sturdy Sun Hat
Gardening means spending long days basking in the sun. And that makes a sturdy sun hat an essential gardening tool. Because they have straight brims, sun hats block the sun without impairing someone’s sight line. Throughout her summer adventures, mom will likely keep wearing hers.
Mom’s Guide to Gardening
If you’re a busy mom who is interested in growing her own garden, we hope this mom’s guide to gardening pointed you in the right direction. While caring and maintaining a garden might seem daunting, rest assured that it’s a fruitful activity (pun intended) your whole family can enjoy together.