Gardening is a fantastic activity to do with your kids, especially during half term when there is a very real danger of your little ones tearing the house apart in their boredom. It gets the whole family, both single parents and kids, out in the fresh air. It also teaches children how to grow and look after things, where their food things and is a fantastic long-term project.
The only problem is, in order to teach your kids how to garden – you need to know yourself! The good news for gardening novices is that it doesn’t take long to get green-fingered. All you need is some basic equipment, some outdoor space and some seeds. Let’s get going!
What you’ll need
Unless you fancy scrabbling around in the dirt with your bare hands, you’re going to need a few essential tools and other items. Here are the basics:
- Plant pots
- Kneeling pad
- Watering can
- Seed propagator (although this can be home-made very simply – all you need is cling film!)
Grow seasonal plants
When choosing your plants, consider the season. We’re now into the autumn and winter season, so you’re going to need plants that like colder and possibly wetter conditions, and those that are resistant to frost. Get online or visit your local garden centre to find perennial plants, or you could go for house plants that like to grow indoors (great for single parents and kids in flats or homes without gardens).
Keep your garden small and manageable
Wherever you choose to set up your garden, whether it’s in the flowerbed outside or on the windowsill, you should keep it as small and manageable as possible. The same goes for any planting projects you and the kids embark upon. If you try to grow lots of things at once and you’re all beginners, you won’t be able to keep on top of all the jobs that need doing. This, and the possibility of plants dying because they’ve been neglected, could be very discouraging for your kids – you don’t want to put them off! Focus all of your care and attention on one plant to start off with, watch it grow and get your kids excited about new gardening projects.
Here are some great gardening project ideas that are perfect for beginners and ideal for this time of year:
- Plant bulbs – snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils are all great bulbs to plant in autumn and winter, but be careful with young children as some of these bulbs can be poisonous if ingested!
- Prepare the garden for next year – if your garden needs tidying up, get the kids to muck in with tidying the shed, pulling up old plants, pruning and trimming and even painting fences and sheds.
- Decorate plant pots – with terracotta pots and paint, your kids can let their creativity run wild. A fun idea is to paint faces on your pots, then grow cress ‘hair’ for them on your windowsill!