Children making the most of their garden
Children love being outside and getting their hands - and everything else- dirty so introducing them to their first steps on the gardening journey isn’t too difficult.
They love growing plants and love being in the garden but can often be impatient, wanting to see instant results. Which is why National Children’s Gardening Week (May 23-31) takes place in ‘warm’ week at the end of May, when plants grow quickly so that there are instant results to make everyone happy, writes Sara Milne.
Most experts agree that for kids to get into gardening a space of their own is crucial – whether that’s a small bed, a grow bag or a terracotta pot. If it is a raised bed or plot, then keep it small and make sure it has good soil and light. If your children have grown out of their sandbox, consider converting it into a garden bed.
What are the best plants for tiny hands
One of the best plants for children to start with is a geranium. Geraniums come in an array of colours from vibrant red and bright pink through to soft lilac and white with fabulous flower heads and are robust enough to thrive being cared for by even the most untrained of little green fingers.
The growers from Pelargonium for Europe have some simple tips on how to make sure any geranium is a summer success story. They do best in full sun or partial shade - in fact the more hours of sun they get, the more flowers they produce. They need a bit of space to grow so don’t crowd them into one pot and don’t forget to water them.
What are the must-haves
Another must-have is a sunflower - which can grow 60cm in just four weeks - and nasturtiums which are not only fast growers but also pest resistant, which helps to ensure success. Nasturtium flowers are also edible, and are often used to add colour to salads and salsas, along with other vegetables. Having children begin their gardening experience by growing vegetables is also a great idea and tomatoes, beans, peas and carrots are all pretty simple to get started and have a high success rate, even in containers if you have limited garden space.