Our garden isn’t very much of a garden, if I am being completely honest. It mainly consists of lawn and some trees and I want more. Not more trees and not more lawn, but bushes, flowers and definitely a vegetable patch that Amy can get involved with. Having spent most of my pre-teenage years in my grandparents’ garden, you would have thought I had inherited their bright green thumbs, but for some reason I’m useless when it comes to growing my own lunch.
Gardening queen Annie, who has a weekly gardening feature on her blog has written a great guide on getting kids gardening, but I thought I would ask some more of my blogging friends what their kids get up to in the garden and if they have any top tips on gardening with children. Here are their deepest and darkest gardening secrets:
Remember that for very young kids just digging the soil can be very exciting – as can looking for worms. You don’t even need green fingers to dig! (Penny from Being Mrs C)
Grow something that grows quickly, so little ones don’t get bored. Planting something they can eat also adds to the excitement. Plus, it encourages healthy eating. (Helen from The Crazy Kitchen)
Plant things from seed with a good success rate of growth and produce – we seem to do well with beans! Also have tasty things on hand such as strawberries, which are relatively easy to look after (though don’t grow these from seed, it takes forever). Let your children choose one item each as well as the things you have chosen for them. Use recycled containers to save money and be more environmentally friendly and teach the kids about reusing (Maggy from Life At The Zoo)
Plant the seeds with your kids but also plant extra as they will keep trying to see what they are doing under the soil. Also grow some edible flowers and plants that encourage butterflies to the garden (Cerys from Rainy Day Mum)
Protect your crops by building some cute scarecrows with your kids. (Liz from Me and My Shadow)
My top tip is to let kids see you garden yourself, its like when they see you preparing meals – they soon want to join in. (Annie from Mammasaurus)
Encourage kids to write their own labels for the seeds they have planted (a sneaky bit of writing) or draw pictures of what they are planting for younger kids. Gardening is a great opportunity to create “garden journals”, which help writing skills, observation skills and enhances their sense of responsibility. Having said all that, be prepared to do most of the work yourself, but keep involving them as often and regularly as possible. I always point out every tiny shoot, new leaf and first blossoms etc and let the kids eat fresh produce straight from the garden. (Maggy from Red Ted Art)
If you want to stock up on vegetable seeds and plants, fruit, trees or flowers for your garden, make sure to check out Sutton’s Seeds, who sell everything a gardener’s heart desires.
What are your top tips for gardening with children?
This is a promotional post with images from Jessica Lucia, UGA College of Agriculture, marcomo and Kirsty Andrews via Flickr.