Spring is here, and so there are some garden chores that need to be done. But there’s no need to send your children off to play with the neighbor’s kids while you do the chores, as you can do them together, and spend some quality time together. This is a great opportunity for you as a stay at home dad to teach the little ones about weeds, plants, and the importance of a tidy lawn. First off, you need to introduce them to the tools. Open up your garden sheds, and check the condition of your equipment. Be sure to point out which ones are okay for the little ones to use and which ones are strictly off limits. Doing this at the start of their gardening experience will set the ground rules for future endeavors.
To prepare your garden for spring you’ll need a rake with teeth that are intact, some cutters and shears, a spade and a small shovel. If these items are suffering from rust, you can use aluminium foil dipped in water to easily remove it.
The grass is your first area of work. Remove any thatch, rotting leaves, small stones and bits of twigs from it. Check the lawn for areas of moss. You will often find moss in shaded and damp areas. Use the rake to remove the moss, and encourage your helpers to take over or help out. If there are certain areas which are particularly affected by moss, have a look at their surroundings. It could be that some overhanging branches are creating a very shaded area. Simply trim these branches back, and be aware of this hotspot come late autumn to give these branches another trim.
Tending to the flower beds should be a team effort. Thatch and leaves will once again need to be removed, as well as any weeds. This is a great time to teach your children how to distinguish between a weed and a plant. Once your flower beds are ready, head to your local garden centre and pick out some spring bedding plants together. Be sure to choose a few each, and encourage a variety of colors. Pansies, Marigolds, Petunias, Primroses and a large variety of Daisies are currently in bloom, and all work well together. When back home, plant these flowers together. Discuss how you want to arrange them, i.e. all the Daisies together, all the yellow flowers together or mixing type and color up. Plant each flower separately, rather than digging all the holes first, as they need more space than you initially think and it’s easier to keep a good oversight if you do it one by one. Take it in turns to dig the hole, plant the flower, cover it with soil and water it. Make sure that your children get their hands dirty, as this is part of the gardening fun.While in the garden take this opportunity to get to know your children better and talk to them about your activities and options. Ask for their opinions. Even though you know them pretty well as your a stay at home dad already, there’s no point in wasting this quality time.