Book and food gardening fun: Animals in your garden

Involve a child in planning the garden by starting with a book.

As the ground begins to thaw, some begin to imagine cleaning out flower beds or planting in gardens. As we begin to day dream about how the sun will help flowers and yummy food grow, take advantage of the opportunity to share your knowledge and love for getting your hands dirty with a child.

A garden book that is a favorite of mine to share with young children is Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, by Candace Fleming. A man plants a garden and realizes that his garden is being visited by some hungry rabbits.

To involve kids, read the book and ask what animals might try to nibble the goodies growing in your garden. Encourage them think of ideas to keep animals out of your garden. Using tools and materials around the house have children create what is discussed.

The story book provides a way to get kids’ imaginations flowing. You can then follow up with a garden planning discussion, beginning with how to discourage animals from nibbling your vegetables.

Gretchen Voyle, from Michigan State University Extension provides tips to prevent landscape pests like deer, woodchucks and rabbits from damaging your landscape or garden in Preserve landscapes and gardens by discouraging deer, woodchucks and rabbits.

MSU Extension recommends MSU’s Gardening in Michigan as a resource for your garden.