Gardening with Kids

Kids love to watch things grow and what better to do just that than a garden. Here at our daycare in Plainfield IL we believe that it is important to teach kids about sustainable living and gardening at a young age. There are many kids these days that don’t even know what vegetable a French fry comes from. I don’t know about you, but I feel this is very troubling and I feel that everyone should know where their food is coming from. By creating and starting a garden with children, you are able to show them the science behind gardening with experience and give them the satisfaction of making something grow. By making them a part of the gardening process, they will learn to love and appreciate the food that they eat every day. I have asked the help of Creative World School to aid us in ways to teach these little ones with fun gardening activities.

Tools of the Gardening Trade

gardening toolsThe first thing we do is to introduce them to all the tools that we will be using. If they are dangerous tools, we make sure to teach them that a grown has to help out. We don’t want anyone getting hurt at our daycare facility. Tools like shovels, aerators, pruners, composters, and hoses are all used at our garden. When we first constructed the garden we showed the children how to make raised beds, allowing them to make all the score marks with pencils while we did all the cutting. We also set up a compost pile station, where we would add all organic materials. All organic material from our child care facility was used in this process and the kids loved to make sure that all trash went where it was supposed to.

Preparing the Soil

With the beds and the compost set, we would then prepare the soil. Because we didn’t have compost that was quite ready, we bought our first batch and mixed it with our screen top soil. We let all of our daycare attendees each get a chance to mix in their own little buckets while we mixed vermiculite and peat moss into the final mixture. Now we had a chance to throw in a few science lessons by teaching a small chemistry lesson. We arranged a small little song to sing while we were getting the soil ready to introduce them to the elements that help to balance the soil correctly like Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen. Just like humans, we teach them that plants need certain vitamins to grow healthy and strong.

Choosing the Right Fruits and Vegetables

guy and son gardeningWith the soil ready, we were then ready to pick out our vegetables. We decided to grow carrots, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, strawberries, and beets. We started out with incubated seeds and let them sprout throughout the following weeks. We also bought a few plants to better our success rates of growth. This was also a good way for the little ones to see the different stages of growth. When the plants were ready we could now start the planting process. We had sectioned off designated spots with the recommended spacing for each different vegetable. For this step, we had every child care assistant help out. We made sure to that everyone was on track and over the matter of a couple hours we had a perfectly aligned garden at our daycare center. The final step was to water our new beauties. This is another great lesson opportunity by teaching responsibility. It was up to us to keep the plants watered so they can live. Here we set up an experiment where we had a few plants to the side that we never watered so we can show the need of water.

Harvest Time

As time passed by the plants began to start bearing fruits and vegetables. Now was the fun part. Whenever we had a decent yield we would prepare a home cooked meal.  This was their favorite part of gardening and now they know where their French fries come from! Good Luck and make sure to comment if you have any child care gardening tips.

6 Great Reasons To Build a Backyard Fence

wooden privacy fence in backyard











Before you start building your backyard fence, you have to decide the purpose of the fence. Maybe you just want to establish a boundary between your property and that of your neighbors. It is also possible that you want to keep your pets on the grounds of your home. You may even build your fence for security reasons to protect your family and your property. It does not matter what your reasons are. What matters is that you give the job to competent and qualified fence builders so that they will do an excellent job for you. Below are some benefits of building a backyard fence as inspired by Fencing Unlimited Inc..

Security and peace of mind

Security for life and property is one of the most important reasons for building a fence. You want to sleep well at night and you want to have peace of mind. Get an expert in fence installation to design and construct the right fence for you. Your security fence should be tall and solid because you want to keep intruders out of your property. In this case, your best bet is a concrete fence. It is strong, durable and reliable.

Establishing property lines

If your aim is to make a demarcation between your neighbor’s property and yours, a basic chain link-fence will do. This fence will establish clear boundaries between your neighbor’s property and yours.   With this fence in place, everybody knows where his or her property begins and where it ends. This minimizes incidents of trespassing and creates harmony between you and your neighbor.

Beauty and esthetics

Your fence should not be gloomy and dull. You can actually use your fence to beautify your home if you install the right one. Your best bet in this case is the white picket fence. The only requirements for this fence are quality wood and whitewash. You can install this fence yourself or consult and expert to help you get the job done. If you have flowers in your back garden, the effect of the white picket fence against a green background will add some spice to your home.

Go green to show ownership

You can use landscaping to create the perfect fence for your back garden. Plant trees along the borders of your property and trim them regularly. As long as these trees remain in place, you can always claim ownership of the land if a dispute arises by proving that you planted the trees as proof of ownership.

The combination fence

You can construct a combination fence if you like this option. The implication here is that your fence will be a combination of different materials. For instance, you can use wood picket fencing at the front of the home and connect this to a chain-link at the back of the house. This saves you money and creates a bit of variety too.

Cooperate with the neighbors

Your backyard fence is most likely connected to your neighbor’s property. Before building this fence, you should consult your neighbors so that you will be on the same page. A fence can be built and shared by two people. Once the duo agrees on the terms of the deal, experts in fence installation can be contracted to handle the project.

Final word

If you are thinking of fence installation, you have many options. Decide what you want then talk to fence builders and other experts and you will get the right backyard fence.

How to get Organized for Your Next Landscaping Project

fall landscaping

Fall is a great time to launch that do-it-yourself (DIY) backyard home gardening project you’ve always wanted to do. Thanks to some inspiration from the Fall season we have put together a full proof plan that will help you see your project from start to finish. Our step by step guide is chock full of tips and ideas on just about everything you will need, from landscape supplies to design ideas and so much more. So, let’s get you started on what promises to be your most successful fall landscaping project yet!

  1. Carry out a thorough assessment

Before you jump right into getting this landscaping project started, there are a few things that you should consider. For starters, you should have a clear idea of what you are working with as well as what you would like to achieve. Take for example, the size, shape, existing landscaping if any that you may be working with. These are the things that will determine how you move your project along. Some questions to help you with your assessment include

– How much living (e.g. garden) versus non-living (e.g. concrete) landscaping space you will be working with (use actual measurements here)

– What would you like the final product to look like and do you have the space and resources to accommodate your vision. How can you tweak one or the other to have some sort of meeting in the middle.

– What kind of landscape supplies will you need and where can you get them

– How much are you willing to spend versus how much it is likely to cost. How can you tweak either your budget or resources to ensure that you do not spend too much but still get your desired result or close.

– Look at the work that you are likely to be doing and assess how much extra help you will need. Perhaps you can make it a family project with the kids or other relatives and friends pitching in. Do not underestimate your needs.

  1. Gather supplies

Now that you have a clear idea and picture of exactly what you want and what you will be doing for your landscaping project, the next step is to begin gathering your supplies and resources. You will need landscaping tools for digging and planting your garden for example (which lowes is perfectly fine for), as well as plants for your said garden. Begin to source your supplies and gather them. Big box stores like Lows or the Home Depot will have some options but I prefer a landscape supply specialist so I go to Pete Rose Inc. in Richmond A simple search for landscaping supplies should help you out if your not familiar with any.

  1. Plan your work

By now, you should have had everything you need and have begun your landscaping. To not be overwhelmed it is a good idea to take the work in stages, breaking it up into small, manageable amounts. It is equally as important to work smart as it is to work hard.

Bonus tips:

  1. Source ideas online. There are lots of landscaping tips for spaces of all shapes and sizes online. There is also lots of DIY shortcuts that can save you time and money. Best of all, most of this information is provided freely. Therefore, make use of your online resources.
  2. Pay attention to other non-landscaping details that may affect the overall look and feel of your landscape in the final analysis. One feature that persons often overlook when landscaping is the painting of their house. A fresh coat of paint (even if you are not changing the colors) go a long way in helping to add to the fresh, warm and inviting look of your newly landscaped space.