Garden Activities For Teens: How To Garden With Teenagers

Garden Activities For Teens: How To Garden With Teenagers

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Times are changing. Our decade’s previous rampant consumption and disregard for nature are coming to an end. Conscientious land usage and renewable sources of food and fuel have increased the interest in home gardening. Children are the vanguard of this atmosphere of change.

The ability to teach and interest them in growing beautiful green things will allow them to develop a love for the world and the natural hum of its cycles. Small children are endlessly fascinated with plants and the growing process, but gardening with teens poses more of a challenge. Their self introspection makes outside garden activities for teens a hard sell. Interesting garden activities for teens will bring them back to this wholesome family activity.

How to Garden with Teenagers

As enjoyable as it was to teach your little sprout about gardening, growing children develop other interests and lose their natural love of spending time outside. Teenagers are especially diverted by social connections, schoolwork, extracurricular activities and simply teen apathy.

Bringing a teen back into the gardening fold may take some planned teen gardening ideas. Developing such life skills as growing food and good land husbandry provide the young person with self-esteem, world awareness, economy and other worthy attributes.

Teenagers and Gardens

Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H clubs are useful organizations for teen gardening experiences and knowledge. These groups provide numerous garden activities for teens. The 4-H slogan “Learn by Doing” is a great lesson for teenagers.

Clubs that provide garden activities for teens encourage and enrich their lifestyle and love for the land. Local social outlets such as volunteering at a Pea Patch or helping the local Parks Department plant trees are civic minded methods of exposing teens and gardens.

Teen Gardening Ideas

Pride and self-congratulation are byproducts of growing edibles in the home landscape. Teenagers are notorious bottomless pits when it comes to food. Teaching them to grow their own food supply draws them into the process and gives young people an appreciation for the work and care necessary for all the delicious produce they enjoy.

Let teenagers have their own corner of the garden and grow the items that interest them. Choose and plant a fruit tree together and help teens learn how to prune, care and manage a producing tree. Gardening with teens starts with creative projects that affect them and allow the wonder of self-sufficiency to permeate their lives.

Teens and Gardens in the Community

There are many ways to expose your teen to gardens in the community. There are programs that need volunteers to harvest underused fruit trees for food banks, help seniors manage their gardens, plant parking circles and develop and manage Pea Patches. Allow teens to interact with local land management leaders and learn about planning, budgets and building.

Any organization that encourages teens to participate in planning and decision making, will interest older children. They have great ideas and just need resources and support to make them a reality. Listening to teen gardening ideas provides them with the confidence and creative outlets that young people crave and thrive upon.

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February Gardening Tips

Spring is on the horizon. What better way to spend these dreary winter days, than planning for a beautiful start to Spring?

Although there isn’t much to do outside right now, there is prep work that can be done indoors to get ready for the upcoming season.

Garden Prep

  • If you keep a Gardening Journal, pull out gardening notes and start making changes to this year’s plan. Learn more about creating a Gardening Journal.
  • Plan gardening and landscape beds, considering what to add or subtract from your yard. Review your notes and assess areas that need work. Learn more about Landscape Design.
  • Start seeds now for Spring planting. Start vegetables like greens, broccoli, eggplants and peppers. Refer to the information on the back of the seed packets to know what dates to start your seeds. They should be ready to transplant into your garden after the last frost. Learn more about Seed Starting.

Garden Maintenance

  • Inspect trees and shrubs and look for pruning that needs to be done once the weather breaks. Look for dead or broken branches, anything that’s crossing or rubbing together, as well as sucker shoots and water sprouts that need to be trimmed away.
  • Check winter protection to make sure it’s still intact. Try to keep plants insulated with snow.
  • Keep road and sidewalk salt away from plants.
  • If ice accumulates on plants, allow it to melt naturally. Attempting to remove any ice may create more damage than necessary.
  • Keep the birds happy during the winter, and they’ll return in the spring. Keep the bird feeders clean and filled. Don’t forget to have a water source for birds as well. Using a birdbath with a bubbler will provide much-needed hydration during the winter months. Learn more about Keeping Birds Around this Winter
  • Enjoy the beauty of nature indoors, use house plants, and fresh flowers to brighten up indoor spaces. Learn more about the Power of Flowers and the Benefits of House Plants .
  • Treat your Valentine to something special and order flowers from our Florist.

For more information on what to do in the garden this month, visit any English Gardens location and talk with an expert.

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Our Top 10 Garden Tips

Good gardening tips are essential to any healthy harvest. If you're looking for the most efficient way to enjoy your garden, here are 10 top garden tips to garden smarter, prettier, with more flavor, and with less expense.

1. Start Seeds. There's nothing more thrilling that to sow tiny seeds, then see them germinate and pop up out of the soil as small seedlings in a matter of days. Seed starting is a great gardening tip as a way to get kids involved in gardening. It's so easy -- all you need is potting soil, a vessel (or the ground), water, and seeds. Seed starting is also the most inexpensive way to raise plants.

2. Mulch! Adding a thick layer of mulch around your garden plants and landscaping shrubs and trees will cut weeding time to almost nil, making it a labor-saving gardening tip. Use whatever mulch you like or is readily available -- shredded cedar bark, pine needles, grass clippings, gravel or stone. All you need is a pretty, spreadable medium to place around the plants in your landscape or garden. Mulches made from plant material (bark, needles, clippings) will break down over time and can be refreshed with a top layer every couple of years.

3. Plant Fragrance. Flowers are beautiful just as they are, but why not add another dimension to your gardening experience? As a gardening tip, planting fragrant flowers and herbs means you'll be greeted with sweet perfume when you garden as well as beautiful flowers and foliage. The most fragrant perennial flowers include roses, peonies, and lilacs. Try perfumed annuals in containers heliotrope, petunia, and alyssum all add scents. Tropical vines such as jasmine can add fragrance to a porch or patio.

4. Grow Herbs. Even if you don't have room for a vegetable garden, a simple container on a patio provides a spot to grow a lush herb garden that offers all the flavors of the world at your fingertips. Herbs are eager growers, can take a little neglect, and produce delicious edible leaves and flowers. Try a mixed container combination of three herbs that reflect your cooking tastes -- Mediterranean: basil, thyme, oregano Asian: cilantro, lemon grass, Thai basil or French: parsley, tarragon, rosemary.

5. Add Tropicals. Another gardening tip? Add the lush feeling of the tropics to porches and patios with leafy, tropical foliage plants. Palms, Dracaena, and Sanseiveria all do well on shaded front porches, providing instant jungle ambiance to outdoor dining and seating spaces. Enjoy them all summer, then bring them indoors and place in every room. Foliage plants help cleanse the air of indoor toxins.

6. Survey Your Garden. Take 5 minutes a day to walk through your garden. You can keep an eye out for insect pests or disease and treat before it becomes a big deal. And as you stroll, deadhead (remove) faded blooms this encourages plants to produce more flowers.

7. Plant Natives. Native perennials are species that are already adapted to the climate, rainfall, and soil in your region. These plants take less care than other perennials and will often do better than other types of perennials because they evolved in the area where you are planting them.

8. Cover up with Vines. Do you need a little backyard privacy? Or do you have an unsightly fence or blank garage side? A trellis is a great gardening idea: Aflowering vine creates a beautiful screen or cover up. Fast-growing annual vines include morning glory, sweet peas, and cup-and-saucer vine. Perennial vine varieties get bigger and better -- and last for years. Options include Clematis, honeysuckle vine, and trumpetcreeper vine.

9. Solve Lawn Problems with Groundcovers. If you want to mow less and enjoy your landscape more, a gardening tip is to remove turf in areas that it are struggling and replace with perennial groundcovers. Shady spots and areas below trees with shallow roots can be planted with a lush assortment of groundcovers such as Ajuga, Vinca, and Pachysandra.

10. Harvest Edibles from Your Landscape. Wouldn't it be wonderful to step out the door and harvest fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs from your front or backyard? You can with this gardening tip: Add a wide variety of beautiful edible plants. Try small-space shrub "Jellybean" blueberry, use strawberries as sidewalk edging plants, and add tiny-leaf 'Spicy Glove' basil to a window box or container.


3. Just Keep Talking

Check-in with your teen regularly. This is not a one-and-done conversation. Let them know if they ever have any questions or concerns, they can always turn to you for support or advice. "You are opening the conversation to help guide them as opposed to making a judgment about their choices," Geltman says. "You have the influence to help them understand things they aren’t talking about with anyone else." Remind them that if they’re not comfortable speaking with you, there are other trusted resources at their fingertips, such as your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. And remember to use gender-neutral language when you're talking about dating.


Start by re-edging your beds. This will help freshen up the garden right away. Top dress beds with a new layer of mulch in the Spring to reduce weeds, conserve moisture and give everything a fresh look. Add fertilizer to trees, shrubs and perennials. An organic slow-release formula like Espoma’s “Tone” products are great options. Apply Preen to deter weeds throughout the season. These tips will have your yard and garden ready for Spring.

What you can read next

July Gardening Tips

What to Do in the Garden this Month: September
October Gardening Tips

Search EnglishGardens.com

Blog Categories

  • Birds
  • Bugs & Insects
  • Christmas Decorating
  • Decorating
    • Home & Office Decorating
  • House Plants
    • House Plant Care
  • Landscaping
  • DIY
  • Recipes
  • Gardening
    • Edible Gardening
    • Gardening With Kids
    • Garden Tips by Month
    • Spring Gardening
    • Spring Prep
    • Winter Prep
    • Lawn Care
  • Fall is for Planting
  • Outdoor Living
  • Seasonal
  • News
  • Floral Designs
    • Wearable Flowers
  • Gift Ideas
  • Outdoor Plants
    • Hydrangeas
  • Archives
  • Live Healthier

We Deliver! Right to Your Door

We’ll deliver anything from our store. Anywhere in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. Call your nearest location.

Find Your Nearest Location

Have a Question for Us?

Recent Posts

April Gardening Tips

10 Plants to Make Easter Decorating Easier

Get Ready for Spring & Be Safe While Shopping

Locations

Weekly Specials

Plant Database

Resources

Contact

Featured Blog Posts

April Gardening Tips

10 Plants to Make Easter Decorating Easier

Get Ready for Spring & Be Safe While Shopping

What’s New: Summer-flowering Bulbs for 2021

Bulb Care Tips

Join Our Team

English Gardens is built around people who love people and plants. We provide only the best value and finest quality products and services to beautify your garden, home and holidays. We are committed to creating a family atmosphere that’s a fun and rewarding place to shop, work and do business.

Sign Up For Our Email List

Get event updates, coupons, and holiday promotions direct to your inbox.

Call: 800-335-4769

A Family-owned Michigan Business Since 1954

Garden – Home – Christmas


How do I plant in my straw bale garden?

Once your bales are ready, dig out holes about six inches deep in the bales with a trowel or small tree saw. Add potting soil, and plant your seeds or seedlings as you would in ground, and top with soil. Or spread potting soil along the top of each bale, then dig a shallow hole and plant. Generally, you’ll fit two or three plants per bale. Just like a traditional garden, don't overcrowd your plants, which makes them more susceptible to disease.


Watch the video: Teen Takeover, the Garden Project