Tips For Gardening With Children
These are some things I have found helpful when gardening with my kids – and believe me we are still learning all the time!
- Start small. Much better to have a much loved, well looked after small patch than to have bitten off more than you can chew, especially if you are involving children along the way. A few pots or containers can be more than enough if you are just starting out.
- It’s a great idea to give kids their own small patch or area to care for if you have room and can help them if not old enough to care for it completely themselves.
- Use age appropriate tools. They will enjoy it more and you won’t be constantly watching to make sure they don’t hurt themselves – or as in our case sometimes – someone else!!
- Make sure any fertilisers, pesticides etc are kept well away from children. Even organic fertilisers.
- Allow extra time so you can all enjoy it – gardening with children takes time and it’s best to make sure you have plenty of it or it gets frustrating for everyone
- Large seeds are easier for little fingers – eg broad beans, snow peas, peas, cucumbers, coriander, sweet pea, sunflowers etc
- If planting seeds into small pots or biodegradable ones I find it easier to put my seed raising mix in a large container like an ice cream container that my kids (when small) can easily get their trowel into to scoop the dirt. Put the ice-cream container and pots on a large, old tray or plastic tarp so you can tip any dirt that gets spilled back into the container or bag at the end.
- We also put our seeds we are planting into a large container so they can get their hands in easily – you’ll still lose some but this way they can do more by themselves too.
- Our boys love to help pick caterpillars, snails and slugs off, they love looking for and finding them. It’s always a competition who can find the biggest, the most or the fattest.
Our boys love making paper pots, planting seeds, watering (most things tend to need a water in their eyes), mud pies, digging – digging anywhere, anytime!
If you ask them what they like best about gardening these are their answers:
Master 4 – Strawberries!! With the biggest grin you’ve ever seen..
Master 7 – pulling carrots and radishes
Master 9 – planting seeds and watching them grow, then eating!