Little Miss B from Gardening 4 Kids
Gardening with kids has so many benefits!
- It’s very educational and they can learn so many new skills.
- It’s a real bonding experience for the whole family.
- They are getting out into the fresh air and moving their bodies.
- Kids learn where food comes from and develop an appreciation of nature.
- It gives kids fabulous self-confidence and a sense of achievement.
- Kids will benefit from the effects of grounding when they are in touch with the earth.
Little Miss B and Caroline from Gardening 4 Kids
Organic Gardening Tips for the Whole Family
I have asked my good friend, author and horticulturist, Bek Mugridge for her top tips on organic gardening.
- Soil, soil, soil. This is such an important part to get right, even if you are on a budget for your garden one thing you do not want to scrimp on is your soil (or potting mixture in tubs).
- Organic matter. Think good compost, manure in the soil and mulch on top.
- Companion planting. Some plants are just friends in a garden and grow well together, benefit one another. Some plants work for you and deter pests and some attract good bugs and wildlife and are invaluable additions, think about your plant selections and what you are planting with what and where.
- Sunlight. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen from running nurseries is sun-loving veggies or flowering annuals that are really struggling in part shade, most veggies like at least 6 hours of strong sunlight, if they look leggy they may not be getting enough, check with your local nursery for recommendations to your specific area.
- Start a watering routine. It can be very stressful to plants, especially young seedlings and fast growing veggies to get a huge drink one day, nothing for a few days because you forgot and then drowned again or a daily drink but it is way too light and doesn’t get down to their deeper roots. Try and be consistent and water according to the plants needs. Some plants will need more than others and mulching will help reduce watering needs.
- Seasol is something I absolutely love and endorse the use of. It is an excellent source of nutrition for plants, safe to use on early all plants and it helps strengthen plants against drought, heat waves, insect attack, sea spray, damaging winds and frost and can help heal sick plants.
- Organic pest control. Hand removal/control, natural sprays, deterrents, multi-plantings, companion planting are all part of most organic gardens and so is balance. You want it to be it’s own mini healthy ecosystem and to be attracting good bugs and natural predators, not killing off everything and I think we can all live with a few holes in our kale if it means we have a lovely, healthy, balanced garden.
- Follow the seasons. Plant what is in season in your climate zone.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself, we are all busy, don’t start too much at once and then find it too hard to keep up with. Also put your gardens or pots where you see them all the time so you remember to water them, fertilise them, check for bugs and garden progress. Spend time out there, plant some pretty flowers in amongst them, put a table and chair out there for the kids, make it your earthy special place at your home.
- Give kids cool gardening tasks to keep it fun like caterpillar hunting, cabbage moth catching, watering with kid sized watering cans, measuring the heights of plants. Don’t forget to include great sensory plants in your garden too that kids can touch, smell and marvel at, not just edible ones.
- Get the kids really involved. Let them experience the true joy of gardening from the start of a seed to the harvest and cooking and you will ignite a passion in them forever.
Bek’s daughter, Lilly.
How to get kids interested in gardening!
The perfect person to help me with these tips is primary school environmental educator, gardening specialist and owner of Gardening 4 Kids, Caroline Roberts.
“Give your kids their own space and equipment in the garden and involve them any decision-making processes; all these actions will help increase your children’s sense of ownership and responsibility. With some guidance, help them pick what plants they would like plant in their garden. There are some really interesting and different varieties available that are appealing to kids. Rainbow chard, purple carrots and purple peas are all popular with kids and add colour to the garden. Finally, make it fun and show your children how enjoyable it is to be outside exploring the world around you.”
You can also do fun crafts and activities with children in the garden. There are a lot of people out there who want to get outside in the garden with their kids but just don’t have the confidence. I hope my tips will help with that. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what people plant, or even how it grows, it’s just about getting outside and making the effort. People having ‘green time’ with their kids is so important.
**** this giveaway has now closed… the winner was Tessa…. congratulations!!******
Terms and conditions:
This giveaway runs from now until midnight on the 13th of October. The winner will be chosen using a random generator from those meeting the entry requirements. The winner will be emailed and announced on this blog post. Australian residents only. Good luck!