You don’t have to have a green thumb to be able to garden with your kids. It’s a wonderful way to spend time together that will also give you a more colorful and productive garden.
We may be stuck at home but the weather is nice and it’s spring. What better time to garden with your kids. Which ? Gardening magazine’s experts share their top tips on what activities you can do.
There’s no better way to encourage kids to eat more vegetables than to grow them with you. It’s too early to sow vegetables that don’t like the cold, like zucchini, green beans and sweet corn, but there are plenty of hardy vegetables and herbs you can sow now, including:
- spring onions
Many supermarkets sell vegetable seeds and compost, so you can pick them up at your grocery store or order them online for delivery.
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The easy way to sow vegetables with the kids
- Plant directly in the ground outdoors or in a large pot filled with potting soil.
- Pull out all the weeds – have the kids dig them up, roots and all, so they don’t come back.
- Ask the children to draw a straight line in the soil or the pot to make a seeder.
- Water along the line, then kids can sprinkle the seeds along its length. Young children will find it easier to sow larger seeds, such as beans and beets.
- Gently cover the seeds with more soil, then check each morning to see if seedlings have appeared.
- Check the back of the seed packet to find out how far apart the plants should be, then remove excess seedlings to give others room to grow.
Potatoes are especially good to grow with young children because they are large and easy to handle. They can be grown in pots, so you don’t even need a garden.
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How to grow potatoes in the ground
- Dig a hole about 15cm deep and place a potato in the bottom – try to place them so that the little sprouts are facing upwards.
- Spread the potatoes about 40 cm apart.
- Fill the hole with soil and wait for sprouts to appear in about a week.
- When sprouts appear, cover them with more soil. It may seem strange to cover a plant with soil, but it will prevent frost from blackening the leaves.
How to grow potatoes in the container
- Empty the compost bag with drainage holes drilled in the bottom, fill it about a quarter full with compost, then place a potato in the bottom.
- Once it has produced shoots, cover them with more compost. Each time the sprouts emerge again, cover them with more compost until the whole pot or bag of compost is finally full.
- Potatoes need regular watering and appreciate having plant food added to their water once a week. They will be ready to harvest around June.
- You can check the development of your crop by putting your hands in the compost and looking for potatoes.
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In addition to vegetables, there are plenty of flowers that can be sown now for color this summer. The easiest for children include:
- pot marigolds (calendula)
They all have relatively large seeds that are easy for little fingers to handle and they can all be sown either in compost pots or directly in the ground the same way you sow vegetables (see above).
Spring flowers tap
Spring brings lots of flowers, whether it’s the ones you’ve grown or just weeds, like daisies. A fun way to store them is to squeeze them into a big book.
- Put them on a sheet of thick white paper and cover with another sheet. Then place them in a heavy book, preferably with a few extra books on top for extra weight.
- Leave them for a few weeks, then check if they are ready by gently opening the paper and touching them.
- If they are paper dry, they are done. They can then be used for craft projects.