3 Ways to Garden with Kids in Columbus


One of my earliest memories of my grandma was picking slugs in her backyard … how else were we supposed to make sure her garden wasn’t attacked? My siblings and I watched her and my mom grow everything from tomatoes and herbs to potatoes and garlic. Our summers filled with homegrown salads instead of store-bought ingredients.

Needless to say, the idea of how we get vegetables by growing them was instilled at an early age. Last month, my three-year-old explained to me that tomatoes come from Kroger, and it got me thinking that I need to instill the same type of education I got from my mom and grandma into my kids (…minus the slug picking.)

Now that spring has (finally) arrived, I’ve been exploring just how many resources are available to families looking to get more into gardening. Here are three of my local favorites:

  • Franklin Park Conservatory’s Children’s Garden: For those looking to educate kids on the basics of gardening, along with the different types of gardening that can be done, Franklin Park is a great resource. In the new two-acre garden, the Conservatory can teach kids about woodlands, art, wetlands and fairy gardens. In fact, there are 12 different features for kids to explore in an age-appropriate and engaging way. My favorite is the edible garden feature ’Let’s Garden’ which features a tasting nook.
  • Westerville Library’s Seed Library: For those who want to start their own garden … or maybe just a few pots … Westerville’s Seed Library is everything you need to start a garden with kids without breaking the bank. Visitors can “check out” up to five packets of seeds and return what they don’t use. They have everything from annuals and vegetables to perennials and herbs. If you have other seeds you’re not using, you can also donate those for others to use! To make the experience more fun for my three-year-old, we painted the pots prior to planting the seeds, and he chose his own seeds to plant from the library.

        Gardening fun with my little guy!
  • Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks: For gardening enthusiasts, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks has so many great options to learn more about gardening across the area. From classes and/or workshops for families on composting or worms to just getting dirty with mud pies or what to plant for a “soup garden” it’s definitely something to keep the kids interested in gardening beyond just watching plants grow.

What are your local favorites for teaching kids about gardening this spring?