Garden Gear - Gardening Books

Book Review: Kids Gardening

KidsGardening: A Kids' Guide to Messing Around in the Dirt
by Kevin Raftery and Kim Gilbert Raftery, Klutz
softcover, 88 pages, $23.

There are ideas galore in this great book for kids three to 10 years old. The reading level is quite advanced (words such as “nutrients” and “microscopic” will require explanation to younger children), but the projects are simple and fun. There is basic soil preparation, seed-starting and growing information, followed by detailed instructions for growing vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes. The approach is to relate gardening to consumables recognized by children. Details for growing cucumbers are followed up with instructions for making pickles, for example, and flower-growing directions precede simple instructions for drying flowers. Colourful and instructional illustrations accompany instructions.

There's also horticultural education: the important role worms play in the garden, for example, is explained in the Wiggly Acres Worm Farm project.

Half a dozen seed packets and a spade come with the book, so kids only need some soil and a few coffee cans or milk cartons (two of the recom-mended seed-starting containers) to get growing.

Kid's Valley Garden at covers the basics of growing a garden, from site selection and soil preparation to keeping plants healthy. It's written for kids and includes growing instructions for seven vegetables, ten flowers and four herbs they can grow successfully.

Kids who want to specialize in growing giant pumpkins should check out Dill's Atlantic Giant at Howard Dill of Windsor, Nova Scotia, includes a page that divulges the secrets on how to grow a really big pumpkin.

For more ideas for kids, check out our own Kids section.
- Tina Forrester

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