Gardening For Kindergarten
Sustaining the Next Generation through Knowledge
One of the keys to successful living is being able to sustain one’s self and this can only happen by acquiring the right knowledge through education. The era that we now live in has not been more challenging but yet at the same time has presented us with opportunities to grow and advance.
With how modern technology is changing so rapidly we can position and teach the next generation as well as generations to come on the importance of self-preservation. A country that can sustain itself by mass food production is in a good place by not being a strain on the world’s economy by importing food for its survival.
I can still remember as a child, the neighborhood which I grew up, many of the families either grew some type of edible plant or planted a garden in which was grown many types of edible foods my family and I being among this group.
It gives such joy and satisfaction to plant those seeds, work the soil, water, and watch as seeds germinate and begin to grow into full plants that both you and your family can enjoy and yes sharing a few of your edibles with relatives and friends.
Presenting a world of opportunities
Now that we have arrived at this point this is where we want to go and that is educating and making the next generation to understand the importance of plants what role they play and also our ecosystem and how diversified nature is but yet with this big difference how every living thing from the largest animals to the tiniest of soil microbes work as one to bring balance.
The building blocks of gardening and agriculture is knowing the basics of a plant’s anatomy which focuses on the structural or body parts and system that makes up a plant now I am not saying that you need the knowledge of a botanist to understand plant basics even though acquiring the skills of a botanist is good but at least have some plant basic so you can have success, for example, Plant leaves are responsible for the exchange of gasses that takes place through small pores-like openings known as the stomata
Plants release oxygen that we depend on for our survival and as we release carbon dioxide plants coverts carbon dioxide to carbohydrates. Another function of plant leaves is to manufacture their own foods by converting the sun’s energy along with water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. The plant’s leave contains chlorophyll this pigment gives the leaves its green color to carry out this process known as photosynthesis.
Another example is a plant root’s system, the roots that are responsible for anchor or stabilizing plants so they don’t topple over is known as taproots and then there are the tiny hair-like or fibrous roots that are responsible for absorbing water and nutrients known as the feeder roots. These 2 examples are just a few when it comes to knowing plant parts and their functions.
Plants are placed in groups and the simple way to approach these groups is plants that are edible and non-edible. Edible plants consist of fruits, vegetables, and, herbs whereas non-edible plants are plants that are used for beautification for, example, some of these non-edible include ornamental plants such as hibiscus, roses, lantanas, marigold, etc…
Then there are ground covers, shrubs, grasses, ornamental grasses, trees, and palms, ornamental plants are divided into two groups evergreens and deciduous plants. Evergreens plants including trees maintain their foliage or leave year-round whereas deciduous plants lose their foliage in the winter but with the approaching of the spring months new leaves emerge.
Ornamental plants are further divided into 2 groups, high maintenance and, low maintenance. High maintenance plants as the name say need more attention and require more water whereas low maintenance plants require less attention. Within the family of ornamental garden plants, there is 3 category which are annuals, perennial, and biennial.
Annuals are plants that perform their entire life cycle from seed to flower within a single growing season, perennials are plants that grow from season to season. The life of perennials can go on for years it’s just a matter of meeting their requirements, perennials will go into a dormant period during the autumn and winter months but when spring arrives they are in full bloom again.
Biennials are plants that take 2 years to complete their biological life cycle, the first growing season of biennials plants will produce a root system, stems and, leaves. During the second season, biennials will produce flower fruits and seeds.
Plants are living and must be maintained, having knowledge of the plant type you’re dealing with is so important. Although garden plants follow seem basic with that basics there is a difference, for example, all plants need sunlight and water to survive but their lighting and watering needs are different. Cactus loves full sunlight and extreme heat these plants can survive on very little water whereas peace lilies need a good amount of water plus bright indirect sunlight to survive.
Garden soils are at the heart or the root of garden plants, survival, there are different types of plant species that have their soil preference. It’s so important to install plants in the soil type they need in order to grow nice and healthy. Soils are not dead as some people think but are alive with thousands of soil microbes that aid in the overall life and health of a plant’s life that we will be looking at below.
Soils are not dead like we said a few seconds ago but are very much alive with billions of microbes that are hard at work ensuring the survival of plant life. Some of these microbes that are so beneficial include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, actinomycetes, and some nematodes that are also beneficial to plant life.
Nutrients are the building blocks of a plant’s life, nutrients are derived from man-made fertilizers known as synthetic or natural organics that are derived from plant materials or animals such as cows, chickens and, horses.
When using synthetics it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for best results misuse of these fertilizers can damage garden plants which have been the distasteful experience of many.
Indoor gardens are a real delight, these gardens will bring nature indoors not only providing beautification but indoor plants will pull toxins out of the air filtering it through its root system. I have worked on many interior plantscape projects that were just mind-blowing leaving the customers very please, with the transformation that it brought. Because indoor garden deals with a controlled environment special knowledge are needed to sustain indoor plant life.
Insects and their groups
The insect world is so vast that it’s mind-blowing, it is believed that for every human upon the plant there are more than a million insects which means that we are out-numbered but not to worry because there won’t and I repeat there won’t be and insect invasion. But what we want to zoom in on here is garden insects.
When it comes to garden insects these insects are divided into 2 groups, there is the good bugs and the bad bugs. The good bugs are known as beneficial insects while the bad bugs are known as garden insect pests. Garden insect pests will destroy our garden plants by making a meal out of them. Garden insect pests are divided into 2 groups sucking insects that suck the plant’s fluids causing plant decline and chewing insects that eat parts or all of the garden plants especially succulents. A few examples of sucking garden insect pests are.
Sucking insect pests
- Spider mites
A few examples of chewing garden pests are.
- Flea Beetle
- Tarnish plant bugs
- Snails and Slugs
The good bugs or beneficial insects police or protects our garden plants by feeding on the bad bugs in this group of beneficial insects are.
- Green Lacewings
- Ground Beetles
- Damsel Bugs
- Praying Mantis
- Aphid Midgets
- Minute Pirate bugs
- Bees are also beneficial insects they don’t feed on garden insect pests but produce honey that benefits us.
- Parasitic wasp lays their eggs inside of the insect’s body (the bad bugs) the egg hatch inside of the bad bug’s body and the larva of the wasp uses the bad bug’s body for food by eating the insides which cause elimination or death of the bad bugs.
Diseases and their Cures
There is a world of plant disease to contend with and seeking to go in-depth is beyond the scoop of this post in fact overwatering when it comes to container-grown plants is one of the leading causes that contribute to disease.
Especially when caring for container-grown plants check the soil for moisture before applying water also containers should have drain holes for water drainage and a saucer to collect the water as it drains from the container. Soil plays a major role when maintaining plants if the soil doesn’t have good drainage the water will drain slowly that will lead to root rot which is a clear indication of plant disease.
Good garden soil will hold the right amount of moisture but will allow excess water to drain through. Don’t water plants late in the evening because this will encourage disease. The best time to water is during the morning hours this time of the day is not only cool but will allow the soil to dry before nighttime sets in.
When water garden plants water from the soil or ground level overhead irrigation or wetting the plant’s leaves can cause disease issues. Sterilize pruners and other tools before performing operation procedures on plants because it’s a known fact that disease is spread from plant to plant because of infected tools that are used to perform procedures on healthy plants. There is more that can be said on this topic but keeping these simple basic steps in mind will go a long way to avoid plant disease problems that can cause time and money to correct issues.
What is an ecosystem? I am so happy that you asked, the ecosystem is a community of living organisms and non-living components. Living organisms include animals, plants, trees, insects, and soil microbes whereas non-living components are the sun, water, minerals, the climate, and soil particles of various sizes. These living organisms along with the non-living components interact with each other that makes up and is known as an ecosystem.
Our ecosystem needs our help and only by getting involved in doing what we can and educating along with encouraging the next generation will we begin to see real change. The environment is contaminated and nature is crying out for us to join hand in hand, getting involved by working the soil will not only put us in a better position where we will benefit from plants but will help in providing a home for wildlife, beneficial insects and helping soil microbes.
Jobs that relate to plants
Here are just a few jobs you may consider that is related to the growth and care of plants.
- Irrigation Technician
- Interior plantscape designer
- Horticulture Technician
- Plant Pathologist
- Weed Scientist
- Forest Technician
- Forest Consultant
- Bioprocessing Engineer
Starting your first garden giving your kids that responsibility
A great way to encourage your kids to get involved in one of the above-listed fields is to have them create a garden of cause with your help. Just a small space for them to grow a few plants is a great idea or if you don’t have space then container gardening will do its all a matter of collecting some containers from around your home or purchasing a few will help.
Old plastic bottles, jugs, buckets, etc.. will do as long as the containers can hold soil will work. Have your kids plant the seeds and water them they can also keep records from planting date (plant maintenance) to plant’s maturity this is a great way to educate children while they exercise their brain which is brian power.
The final word about gardening for kindergarten
I know a lot has been said and I do thank you for staying with me to the end which is a sure sign that you may be considering getting your kids involved which I think is so great. Connecting with nature in this way will give your kids a better understanding of plants, the environment, and our ecosystem.
Again as we said earlier it’s about accessing the right knowledge and putting it into action, your kids will love you for this as they enter an exciting field that’s full of so much activity with plant and insect life. Let’s get our kids excited because this field is very rewarding for both you and your children as you work the soil and connect with nature you will be happy with the results.