Gardening is for all the family. Everyone can garden and grow plants, even if you don’t have a garden. If you are a first time gardener then gardening with your kids is a perfect opportunity for you all to learn together.
Make sure you have all the kids’ garden essentials including a small trowel, small watering can, child-sized wheelbarrow and small dustpan and brush! If you are growing from seed then you will need small pots or seed trays, plant labels and multi-purpose compost.
Getting Started: Growing Easy Plants and Vegetables with your Kids
All of these projects are an easy introduction to children’s gardening and can be done indoors or outdoors, and at any time of year. Your children will see some results within a couple of days. Some will require daily attention.
This is a great growing project for very young children. You can grow them any time of year. They germinate really quickly and you don’t need soil to grow them. Simply sprinkle some cress seeds thinly on to a double or triple layer of kitchen paper in a shallow container and keep damp. Place in a sealed polythene bag and then into a dark place and keep checking and watering. Once they have grown to at least 1cm move them onto a window sill. You should be able to harvest within 10 to 12 days from sowing. Ideal for egg and cress sandwiches.
Children will be able to see quick results with this project. Grow indoors in a jam jar or specialist seed sprouter – these are not very expensive and can be usually brought online the same time as you buy seeds. Place a tablespoon of seeds in a jam jar and cover with water. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin or j cloth held on with a rubber band and soak seeds overnight. The seeds will swell a lot. Drain the water through a sieve and rinse twice really well with fresh water. Place the jar on its side in a warm place away from sunlight. Rinse the seeds and drain the water twice a day. Store in the fridge and eat within 5 days.
Ideal for kids to grow are Broccoli Sprouting Seeds which sprout within 3 to 4 days and chinese bean sprouts (or mung beans) which crop in 4 to 8 days. Fantastic in stir fries.
Growing cress or grass in an empty egg shell is always a favourite with children. They may do this at school or nursery. However, there is value repeating it with them at home so they can see that it is not just a school-related task. Children are never too old to have fun with egg heads.
empty egg shell – cracked carefully and as close to the top as possible.
Craft eyes from the local art shop.
Decorate the eggshell fill with compost. Add the grass seeds on top of the soil and keep wet and indoor in a sunny location. The grass seeds take about 10 days to germinate and it will be about another 2 weeks before they needed a trim.
You can demonstrate to your kids how easy it is to grow new plants by taking a few cuttings of plants from a garden or within the house and root them by placing them in a jam jar or other clear container filled with water. Place in daylight on a window sill and after a couple of weeks roots should start to develop. Once a good root system has developed pot the plants up and you have a new plant. Those that will definitely root are ivy, annual geraniums, and house plants: – Coleus, Begonia and Wandering Jew. Experiment with others so your kids can see which will work.
Gardening with your kids is fun and growing can be easy if you know where to start. If you would like to have a go at more traditional gardening projects for children then take a look at the at our other gardening pages.
For more information on growing with children take a look at the following pages.
- Growing Vegetables with Children
- Growing Fruit with Children
- Growing Cut and Come Again with Children, including salad leaves
- Easy Grow Flower Seeds with Children
- Growing Herbs with Children
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