Together in the garden!
It’s never too young to get your children involved in the fun world of gardening!! Despite our son being 6 months old, and who wouldn’t know the difference between a plant and a snail, I enjoy carrying him around in the sling and pruning (carefully!) with him watching on.
My main practical, easy to do, top tips for gardening with young children.
Give them their own garden beds. It doesn’t have to be a large space, it can even be an old sandbox, a used car tyre or even an unwanted washing up bowl. The key is to keep it small and accessible for little people.
Give them proper tools!! Controversial i know in this ‘elf and safety’ world but cheap plastic tools are worse than no tools at all. Obviously i’m not talking chain-saws! But let them use your spade and trowel – they’ll feel much more ‘grown up’ and begin to respect the equipment from the off. However it you feel uncomfortable with them using proper tools – let them dig with their hands; the best God-given tool they have!
‘From seed to table’. Give their activity context. “We’ll really enjoy eating this once you’ve grown it”. Make them feel like they are contributing to the family well-being.
Be proud of their small achievements and show off their work. Send pictures to Grandad, elderly neighbours, the cat three doors down – whoever!
Don’t make gardening too scientific – children learn best through play so the minute you make it a chore, you’ll lose their interest. Keep it fun!
Cheat! A little bit of work behind the scenes won’t hurt. Move the slugs off the veggies if you see one, pluck out the odd weed. Lets not expect them all to be mini Titchmarsh’s straight away, give them a chance!
The apartment harvest.
If your children don’t have access to an outdoor space – then do it inside! (there’s no getting away with it adults!)
Plant flowers in empty juice or milk cartons.
Pizza herb garden- miniature herbs grow great inside, in plastic containers (yoghurt pots, butter tubs etc) Fresh basil, parsley, thyme and oregano. All great on a homemade pizza!
Tomatoes also grow perfectly indoors – put them in a hanging basket and place them in front of a sunny window.Here it comes, the ‘elf and safety’… but I do only have 4 main points!
Keep sprays and chemicals out of reach at all times – better still, garden organically whenever possible.
Secure fences and gates at all times.
Do not leave children unattended around ponds, or any water for that matter including buckets of water. (We can provide tailer made metal grids for ponds)
Wear suitable clothing – hats, wellington boots, suncream (or even better provide shade).