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Garden

Children, Families, Garden, Home and Garden

Gardening With Kids Tips and Ideas

gardening with kids

gardening with kids
As the Easter holidays are nearly here, I thought I’d share a few fun activities to do with your family.  The first one of these is gardening with kids – a great cheap and easy activity that kids love. 

This Easter I have my fingers crossed for good weather.  You see, I’d really like to get out into the garden with my daughter and start growing some vegetables with her.  It’s never too early to start showing children where the food we eat comes from.  I’m also desperately hoping that growing her own vegetables will help stave off that common toddler hatred of anything vegetable-based!

Although you don’t need any fancy gear to get out into the garden with your kids (in fact, the older the clothes the better!), there are a few useful tools that make gardening with kids a little easier.  

Useful Tools When Gardening With Kids

Here are a few things I have my eye on that would be great for gardening with kids:

From clockwise:

gardening with kids equipment

Kids Metal Watering Can* (£9.89) – from eBay. I haven’t met a kid yet that doesn’t love watering plants.  Invest in a mini watering can for little ones and make a certain area of the garden their patch for keeping well watered. This metal watering can is recyclable with metal waste at the end of its life, meaning it won’t go to landfill, like plastic watering cans which are non-recyclable.

Bug Hotel* (£15.99) – from Not On The High Street. A bug hotel attracts bees, ladybirds, lacewings, and other minibeasts to your garden. This helps to naturally eradicate any hungry aphids that might want to eat your precious vegetables, and will also pollinate your vegetables too.  Children will adore looking for ladybirds and other minibeasts.  And a top tip. You don’t need to buy a bug hotel. Instead, you can also create your own bug hotel by leaving an area of the garden wild and unweeded, with logs and stones piled up.

Kids hand tools* (£12.95)  – from Not On The High Street. Investing in a set of kids hand tools makes gardening easier to manage for small hands. These ones are made from FSC approved wood and metal.

Kids Gardening Gloves* (£3.99) – from eBay. These will help protect little hands from thorns and other garden nasties, as well as helping to make clean-up time a little easier!

What Can I Grow In A Garden For Kids?

If you’re as keen as I am to get out in your garden and do some gardening then there are lots of things to grow with kids.

Fruit and vegetables-wise, when you are gardening with kids, it’s best to grow produce that are both easy to sow and grow, and that will grow quickly once you’ve planted the seeds. You really do need to see shoots quickly to keep their interest!

Other things to consider are:

  • what fruit and vegetables will they realistically eat. Courgettes are quick and easy to grow, but will your kid even entertain the idea of eating a courgette?
  • fruit and vegetables that you can eat directly after picking are good choices. A lot of fun in growing your own is the picking and eating. Having to cook something before eating it can take away some of the joy of growing for kids.
  • are there things that you grow that will give you a continual crop for minimum effort and maximum reward? Soft fruits, like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc, will all continue to fruit throughout their growing season.
  • If you’ve got a small garden, consider what can easily be grown in containers.

My favourite vegetables to grow with kids are fast-sprouting veggies like lettuce, radishes, carrots, and peas, which are fun to grow. Strawberries are always a treat to grow, and fun to pick. And even more fun to eat!

What About Flowers?

Flowers-wise, sweet peas and sunflowers and fun and fast to grow. You can even have a sunflower growing competition. Use wooden lolly sticks to write each kid’s name on it. After you’ve planted the sunflower seeds, pop the sticks in the ground so they know which sunflower belongs to which person. Then have a competition to see whose can grow the tallest. I would grow them near a fence or wall, but if that’s not possible you may need some canes to help support them as they grow taller and taller.

Butterfly and bee friendly plants are also fun to plant and grow. Especially as kids get the thrill of spotting visitors to their garden.

I have some raised beds to make planting easy for my little ‘un. However, you could also use tubs or trugs, or even just dedicate a small area of your garden for planting.

What If You Don’t Have A Garden?

Even if you don’t have a garden, there are plenty of things you can grow in window boxes and on your windowsill.  

Fresh herbs are quick, simple, and cheap to grow. This is a useful resource for growing herbs with kids.  

Chilli plants work well indoors, as do avocados (which are a lot of fun to watch growing). And there are always old favourites like cress and mustard, which are fun to grow in eggshells. These only take a few days to grow and can be eaten in sandwiches or in salads.  

I also heartily recommend growing snow pea shoots. They’re lots of fun to grow, and grow really quickly.

Another fun thing to grow with kids is vegetables from scrap food. Certain vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, onions, and garlic will regrow from the bits that you would normally throw away. It will blow your kid’s mind!

If you have any advice on gardening with kids or other suggestions of what to grow then do let me know in the comment below!

Garden, Home and Garden

Seeds to Sow in March

seeds to sow in March

Wondering what vegetable seeds to sow in March?

I love growing my own vegetables.  Growing your own food is one great way to take real positive action against climate change.  And growing your own vegetables brings your food miles down to zero!

If you’re a novice gardener here are some pointers of what seeds to sow in March.

how to grow radishes uk

The Seeds to Sow Outside in March

what to sow in March

Beetroot

Sow your seeds 1cm deep into the soil. Space the seeds 10 cm apart, with 30 cm between rows.

Early Peas

Make a flat-bottomed trench around 5cm deep and 15cm wide. Sow the seeds evenly in the trench about 7.5 cm apart, before covering them with a light layer of soil.  If you sow a second row, space it at a distance equal to the height of the final pea crop.

Kohl Rabi

Sow seeds, 1 cm deep in rows 30 cm apart.

Lettuce

Sow thinly at a depth of 1cm, leaving 30 cm between rows.

Parsnips

Sow parsnip seeds thinly at depth of 13 mm, at 15cm intervals.  If growing in rows, sow each row 30 cm apart.

Early Turnips

Broad Beans

Sow seeds at a depth of 5cm, with and 20cm between each seed. They are best sown in double rows, with the rows 20cm part.

Brussels Sprouts

Sow seeds thinly at a depth of 13mm, with 15cm between rows.

Leeks

Sow at a depth of 1 cm, 15 cm apart.  Leave 30 cm between rows.

Radish

Sow seeds thinly at a depth of 1cm, with a spacing of around 2.5 cm between each seed.  If sowing in rows, aim for 15 cm between each row.

Spinach Beets

Sow your seeds 2.5cm apart, at a depth of 1cm.  Leave 30 cm between rows.

The Seeds to Sow Undercover in March

March sowing ideas

Sowing undercover means in a greenhouse.  However, if you don’t have a greenhouse, or don’t have space for a greenhouse a simple cloche (a plastic or glass dome) or mini polytunnel will suffice.  We use plastic food pots rather than buying cloches to recycle and save money.

Summer Cabbages

Sow at a depth of 2cm, 25 cm apart.  Leave 30 cm between rows.

Early Cauliflowers

Sow seeds thinly at a depth of 2cm. Depending on the size of the variety you’re growing, rows should be between 15 cm apart for small varieties to 60 cm apart for larger ones.

Early Carrots

Thinly sow the seeds, at a depth of 1cm, in rows 15–30 cm apart. Thin out seedlings if necessary – you should aim for your carrot plants to be 5 – 7.5cm apart.

The Seeds to Sow in Heat in March

what should I sow in March

To sow in heat you can buy electric seed propagators.   If you’re looking for a thriftier option, you can plant seeds in small pots and sit them on a sunny windowsill.  You can pop a clear plastic bag over them to help trap heat and mositure.

It does mean for a couple of months your windowsills might be overrun with plant pots, however your efforts will be rewarded later in the summer when you have a substantial bounty of fresh vegetables that you’ve grown with your own fair hands!

Tomatoes

Sow in small pots, then either place in a propagator or cover each pot with a clear plastic bag and place on a sunny windowsill. The seedlings need to be kept at around 18°C. Once two true leaves have formed, transplant them into 9cm pots.

Celeriac

Sow celeriac seeds in March in a pot in a propagator, at 15-18°C.  Once the seedling are hardy enough to be handled, transfer single seedlings to individual small pots.  Maintain temperatures of 15-18°C, as excessive cold can lead to premature flowering (bolting).

Peppers

Sow seeds in small pots.  Place the pots in a heated propagator at about 18–21°C, or on a warm windowsill.  If you don’t have a heated propagator, cover your pots with a clear plastic bag or clear lid to trap moisture and warmth.  Transplant your seedlings into 7.5–9 cm pots when two true leaves have formed.

Aubergines

Sow at 18-21°C in small pots.

Cucumber

Sow cucumber seeds on their side, at a depth of 1cm, in small pots. Keep them warm in a heated propagator, greenhouse, or on a sunny indoor windowsill.

Hopefully, this guide on seeds to sow in March will keep you right this spring.  However, it’s not just about the vegetables in March.  Sowing some flowers, such as marigolds and nasturtiums at this time of year is also beneficial by way of companion planting.  These are good at discouraging pests from eating your precious seedlings, as well as being good at attracting pollinators, such as bees.

What seeds are you sowing this March?

Come back soon and visit my post on what seeds to sow in April.  In the meantime, happy growing!   I also have lots of other useful gardening guides on Moral Fibres.  From some great sustainable garden ideas to why you should choose peat-free compost. and how to attract bees to your garden.