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Gardening with Children

Gardening with Children

At last, the weather seems to have improved enough to plant some vegetables. So all the children left the school books behind on the kitchen table and headed to the garden.

I believe gardening with children is highly beneficial to mental health, and physical health. It also teaches them where their food is from. Whilst digging about in the dirt the children explored the minibeasts found, there, and a small lesson ensued about the importance of these tiny creatures in all our lives. For The Knight boy a little woodlouse went from being “yuck” to crawling about his hand.

It is also fascinating to watch from one small, wrinkled seed potato you reap a harvest of many. The miracles of multiplication that occurs from seed to harvest is staggering.

After an hour of digging and planting, everyone had worked very hard, and was rather tired. A family activity, that will yield food, is free, and has everyones heart pumping!

First to be planted were the potatoes.

We dug two trenches, and used some of out own compost to line them (this is the first year, out of five that I have decent compost!) The we spaced the seed potatoes out at around 10cm intervals.

The potatoes were then covered over.

When the potatoes first appear we will cover them a second time with dirt. This helps the potatoes to develop healthily.

The children helped where they could. Each had a go of digging, and filling the wheel barrow with compost. The younger ones, enjoyed racking the compost along the trench.

Hopefully this year there will be a good harvest!

Tips to Start Gardening with Children

    1. Start Small! Do not over stretch yourself. Do not aim to be self-sufficient in vegetables within one year. Choose a few simple plants to get going.
    2. Try Planters. If you have a small garden, or do not fancy digging a vegetable patch, start with some planters of tubs. You can find small varieties of carrots that grow well in shallow soil, salads work well, as do herbs.
    3. Let children help to plan. Ask them what they want to grow.

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