Everything kids need to know about gardening this summer
We're getting advice from kids for kids this summer
Do dandelions belong in a garden? How should you address bugs in your garden? What does Canada Day mean to you? How do you embrace boredom during the summer months?
CBC Saskatchewan is hearing from children this summer in a mini-series on their advice from kids for kids (and adults). This week it's all about gardening. To apply to have your child chosen for a piece, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you love about gardening?
"It's a fun family activity and every evening we check, weed and water our plants. I love to see the results of my hard work and see the plants grow," said Mia Eiswirth, 13, from Regina. "We get to eat the vegetables and harvest the flowers."
"I like eating strawberries … and I like watering and digging and putting rocks in there," Four-year-old Luke Hagon said. He's also been learning about bugs and how the "praying mantis can speed up."
Six-year-old Juniper Hartnett said she likes planting the seeds, along with "being outside and eating the plants after they grow."
What are some things that you've learned through gardening?
Hartnett said she's learned about the how plants need sunlight, and how "you can eat the plants if they're not poisonous."
Eiswirth said she's learned about how "different plants need different amounts of sunlight and water to grow, and when it's cold you need to cover them up or they might die. Some plants have shorter time to harvest and some have longer."
"I learned about dragonflies and butterflies and ladybugs," Hagon said. The praying mantis is his favourite because of how fast it can move and how it "eats insects."
What's the best way to deal with bugs in your garden?
"I feel like the best way to deal with bugs that eat your plans are to move them away. Because you never know, they could be good for something else. It could help other animals, the whole circle," Eiswirth said.
Hagon said he catches bugs and puts them in his bug container. "But praying mantis are hard to catch. They're speedy."
Hartnett has a different method. She sprays water on the plants to "knock the bugs off."
If you could be any plant in the garden, which would you be?
"I love sunflowers, so I'd have to be a sunflower because they're tall and other people can see them and they're good for the bees, too," Eiswirth said. "I'd be very tall so I could look everywhere and I could see very far away."
Hartnett said she would be a strawberry plant because she likes them and eats them in the garden.
"I would be a flower. A praying mantis flower," Hagon said. His favourite flowers are strawberry plants, which flower before producing fruit.
What's your take on dandelions?
"I feel like everybody wants a nice lawn without any dandelions, but I know they're actually good for the bees. So we just usually leave them or I make flower crowns whenever I go camping," Eiswirth said.
"They can give bees nectar," Hagon said. He likes dandelions because "they help bugs."
"They're beautiful," Hartnett said. He also said they're good for the bees because they can use them to make honey.
What's your advice for other kids who want to start gardening?
"Water it, and then you plant something and then you just water it again and then you eat the berries," Hagon said.
Hartnett said she hopes other kids know, "You have a seed, plant it, and give it water and that they can also grow sometimes really fast."
"My advice would have to be: give it a try. You don't have to be scared. You might love it. Research what plants you want to grow so you have an idea of what it's going to be like and enjoy your harvest. If you're going to grow vegetables, you have to enjoy it. It's going to be awesome," Eiswirth said.