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Kids in the Garden {Water Saving Tips} Guest Post

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A Heart For Home: Kids in the Garden {Water Saving Tips} Guest Post

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kids in the Garden {Water Saving Tips} Guest Post

Today’s guest post is from Jakob Barry.

Although our beautiful world appears as if it has an abundance of water the truth is only a small amount is fresh and drinkable. For this reason it’s important to educate our children about water conservation at an early age and since spring is upon us there’s no better place to try this out than in the garden.

Gardening is a great activity for teaching kids tips on saving water because when they help take care of vegetables, herbs, or flowers they have a stake in the outcome.

It’s an experience they can carry with them and act on in the future if desired. At the very least the skills they pick up learning about conserving water while feeding plants can be integrated into many other facets of life year after year.

That being the case, here are a few suggestions for guiding the little ones towards better water savings in the garden this spring and summer:

Timing is everything
The best time to feed the garden is in the early morning hours. That’s when water has the best chance of moistening the ground around roots giving them the necessary strength to carry plants through the hottest parts of the day. Mid-day feeding under the hot sun means quicker evaporation rates leaving plants more at risk. The result may be gardeners having to feed them again.

Sometimes mornings in many households can be hectic so it’s understandable if this isn’t a great time to send the kids into the garden. That’s why one option is to turn morning feedings into a group effort by scheduling days for each family member to take a turn. That way parents and kids have equal participation in trying to conserve water.

Meanwhile, the second best time to water a garden is in the early evening either before or after dinner. Just know that some pest control authorities in wet regions will tell you the more damp a garden is at night the higher the chances of attracting unwanted critters and fungi. When this occurs vegetation can be harmed so the best advice is to try keeping leaves on the dry side.

Aim for roots
Once you have the timing down learning how to water should be the next step. You see, just about every homeowner has a garden hose and it’s very easy to grab the handle, aim, and spray the entire yard. What’s hard is actually hitting the target which is the base of plants near the roots. Unfortunately even on low settings hoses don’t deliver well.

When feeding, kids should use watering cans or an empty plastic bottle to help distribute water as close as possible to plant trunks so it can flow directly to the roots. Otherwise water gets wasted elsewhere and can actually help feed weeds and other unwanted undergrowth.

The concept here is teaching kids that unless it’s raining plants should be fed with precision and not drenched.

Reuse water
Another way to save water is reuse it from wherever possible. That way there’s less of a need to access the tap. Some examples include leftover tea, collecting cold shower water while waiting for it to heat up, and even water collected from a leaky air conditioner.

Whatever the source have kids always keep in mind that wherever there’s extra water it could be used in the garden. After a while they may even find other uses for leftover H2O.

Finally, mulching around plants is a great option for saving water in the garden. When placed on the ground mulch acts as a barrier shielding soil from the hot sun, prolonging moisture.

Kids can help make homemade mulch from a variety of organic and commonly found materials such as wood chips, brush, and dry branches.

It’s another gardening practice that shows them how to extend one feeding into the day so plants hopefully don’t need to be fed again till the next morning.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for and blogs for
plumbers across the U.S.

Today’s question: What tips do you have about conserving water in the yard or garden?
Check out our other tips for Gardening with Kids.


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Blogger Unknown said...

I love this, we all need to do our part however small to save water.


March 30, 2012 at 10:37 PM  

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