Angie Luken and Julie Manning from Ace Greenhouse at Kopetsky’s Ace Hardware, 2404 Broadway Ave., Yankton, (605) 260-2813 have fun ideas to involve children in gardening. Parents as well as children can benefit.
• At Ace we carry a variety of plants to help build interest in gardening at an early age. We recommend uniquely scented plants such as the popcorn plant (no kidding...it smells like buttery popcorn), the ‘Acapulco Orange’ Agastache, the pineapple sage plant or the scented geranium. Each of these has a fragrant scent that attracts kids, parents, and, in some cases, humming birds and butterflies (orange Agastache)!
• To encourage your child, set aside an hour for special planting time. Gather materials like small pots, soil, a hand trowel, gloves (kids love to wear these), water, and perhaps some paint and brushes.
• Let the children help pick out the plants, color of pots, and paints. Paint the pot first and allow it to dry.
• Guide the child in taking the plant out of the original container and show them how to gently loosen the soil to allow for proper root development and oxygenation.
• Incorporate children’s assistance is to find a sunny place for their freshly planted, fragrant friend. All of the plants mentioned take full sun to part shade and are quite hardy, so finding that special place should be a breeze.
• An essential ingredient to proper plant care is watering the plant. However, children tend to overwater plants, so remind them once a day should be plenty, with the exception of hot days. Check the soil to see if it is slightly damp to the touch. If it is, no water is needed.
• Gardening is an easy way to teach responsibility and to have some good family fun! Look for upcoming events at Ace Hardware for more tips and to view our expanded selection of annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables.